Delta State Government is set to commence the demolition of buildings and other illegal structures erected on natural water channels in Warri, Uvwie, Udu, Sapele, Ughelli and other parts of the state as part of its flood control measure.
The newly appointed Delta State Director-General, Special Duties, Chief Frank Omare stated this while inspecting some of the structures posing as obstacles to the ongoing construction of the Storm Water Project being executed by the state government in the Warri and Uvwie areas of the state.
Chief Omare advised owners of buildings blocking water channels to quickly relocate as there will be no formal notice before the bulldozers move in to bring the illegal structures down, adding that he will not succumb to blackmail in carrying out his duty.
The Director-General asked those with genuine documents of approval for their buildings to paste them on the buildings as well as forward same to his office for verification with the appropriate authorities.
Omare explained that owners of buildings with genuine approvals will be compensated to be pulled down to allow for the free flow of water, stressing that the challenges of flooding in Warri and its environs have been very devastating.
“We must get it right to address flooding menace in Warri, Uvwie, Udu and all other part of the state. Governor Oborevwori’s vision for New Warri can not be achieved with the present state of unapproved structures blocking the water channels which remains the major cause of flooding in the locality.
“We hope for maximum cooperation from owners of these structures in addressing the problem. This is not time for sentiments or blackmails. The reality on ground requires immediate attention and I have been given the mandate to execute and the work has since started. Sensitization is key, hence our going round to identify the illegal structures and speak to their owners”, Omare said.
It will be recalled that the last time a major step was taken by the Delta State Government to decisively deal with the flood menace in the Warri area and other parts of the state as regards blockage of natural water channels by illegal structures was in the administration of former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan with Chief Frank Omare as the Commissioner for Environment.
Now under the incumbent administration of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori, Chief Omare is again saddled amongst others with the responsibility to open up natural water channels that have been blocked over the years with the attendant consequence of flooding with just a little rain.
Before the bulldozers and other heavy equipment start rolling out in the coming days to pull down buildings and other structures blocking water channels in Warri axis of the state, Chief Omare inspected some of the obstacle areas in the locality.
At Ugboroke Layout a private-storey building and a church on Nemejor Street and Auntie Rose Street were among the structures to be pulled down.
On the NNPC Housing Complex road, some buildings under construction on a water channel around a new Estate were also identified for demolition.
At the Ekpan Roundabout, a storey building constructed not quite long, but sitting on a channel from which other drains in the area discharge water to the Ekpan River was marked demolition.
Chief Omare equally ordered those who converted part of the water channel to wood market in the area, to vacate the place or risk their materials destroyed.
Chief Omare and his team also inspected some water channels at Uti Street and Okoribi in Alegbo area of Effurun, where he said he will be very firm in the discharge of his duty warning that nobody will be above the law.