Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has commissioned the newly-rehabilitated Eleyele Dam project, which he noted would put an end to the perennial flood disaster in Ibadan.
The governor added that the project would also be used to boost the supply of potable water to Eleyele neighbourhood and other communities in the state capital.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the governor as saying that the project is one of the many investments in flood control assets being implemented under the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP), a project with funding and technical support from the World Bank.
He said: “I am delighted to be here today because I believe we are at the threshold of history for the official commissioning of the newly-rehabilitated and refurbished Eleyele Dam. With this project, we have put in check the perennial flood disaster in the city of Ibadan.
“We are also boosting the supply of potable water to neighbourhoods and communities around the capital city here.
“This is one of the many investments in flood control assets being implemented under the Ibadan Urban Flood Management IUFMP project with funding and technical assistance by the World Bank. The last time I had the chance to meet formally with the management of IUFMP and representatives of the World Bank was in November 2019. They were having a mid-term review at that particular time. On that occasion, I had a chance to stress why we chose to continue supporting this project.”
He stated that IUFMP project was meant to ensure that the flood experienced on the 26th of August, 2011 does not happen again, saying “I reiterated that the IUFMP project was a courageous move to ensure that we do not have a repeat of the history of 26th August, 2011.
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“Also, during my electioneering, I told people that for us, continuity in government is sacrosanct. I said that we would look at projects started by the previous administration, which are beneficial to the people of Oyo state and that are well structured. So, this is one example of such projects and I am glad that we provided our full support.
“The dam is being commissioned today but we also have quite a lot to do. We have the channelisation of major rivers in the state and these are ongoing. Earlier in the year, officers from the state Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources embarked on the clearing of gutters and channelization of rivers, we know that very soon, the rain will be upon us. I believe we have done quite a bit to ensure that we do not continue to issue advisories when the rain is about to fall.”
The governor appreciated the contractor and major consultants on the project, noting that with the supervision of the project carried out by a French company and Nigerian partners, he is of the belief that some Nigerian engineers had been given major opportunity to get exposure on the project.
He charged residents of Eleyele and other neighbourhoods of the dam to avoid indiscriminate and improper dumping of refuse, which could block the river channel, noting that the long-term sustainability of huge investments on infrastructural renewal like the dam project depends on communal and individual efforts.
Earlier, the coordinator of Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project said that the implementation of the full rehabilitation of the dam was executed in two phases: design for the rehabilitation of Eleyele Dam intake work completed in 2017 and the implementation of works and rehabilitation, which has just been completed by this administration.
He noted that the completion of rehabilitation works would provide solutions to the issue of flooding in three ways such as structural solutions, hydraulic and safety solutions.
He appreciated the governor for supporting the Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project in its bid to put an end to flooding in the state.