By G9ija

The Executive Director, of SPEC Academy, Dr Okey Ikechukwu, has faulted urban planners for the flooding currently ravaging several parts of the country.

He said town planners in most of the states do not carry out necessary studies to find out about the geology of the lands they allocate to people and the type of houses that should be built in the areas they are developing.

Ikechukwu made this remark on Wednesday while speaking on the flooding that has claimed the lives of over 600 persons.

“Urban planners have not been sensitive to the aqua geology of the areas they are developing. So you see state governments developing new areas without even sometimes doing enough tests to know the kind of buildings that should be there, so that is part of the problem,” he said,

“Why would flood cover someone’s roof if you have intelligent urban planning that works with the ingredients of the environment? So the absence of the global view of the environment in terms of the geology of it, in terms of geography and that is what we are suffering now.”

Ikechukwu, however, said that it is won’t be fair to put all the blames on the present government as the problem is “a violation and disregard that has gone on for a long time.”
Ikechukwu said that town planners should do a proper study of areas before developing them because houses have been built in river areas which were mistaken for drylands due to the creation of dams.

“When you create a dam you reduce the amount of water going downstream and we have been creating dams. That means that what used to be part of the riverbed and floodplains over the years were mistaken for dry land and so people began to build more and more into the riverbed. Where you have towns between Onitsha and Delta where the River Niger used to be but you now have sand in the middle of the River Niger.

“We have many cities that are living below the supposed water level because for a long time they mistook what is not dry land for dry land,” Ikechukwu said.

Also, a guest on the programme, Air Commodore Kenneth Iyamu, said the government must tackle the flooding as soon as it can to reduce the impact it might have on the health of the people and the economy.

“What we should be engaging now is the flu stage, we need to deal with that because when you have a flu stage that lasts for a long time what are you doing? You are indexing diseases, cholera dysentery and all, that should be managed. Thank God the Federal Government has said it will deal with that significantly and we are waiting for that to happen.”

“Then again, you are going to have hunger, food security should be part of the immediate plan,” the member global air force climate collaboration group said.”

The flood in Bayelsa hasn’t spared the dead at the state cemetery at Yenagoa as corpses could be seen floating on the moving water causing a stench for residents around the area.

The situation in the riverine state has also led the electricity company to shut down the public power supply amid safety concerns and to avoid electrocution.