EnviroNews Advocacy Issues Warning Against Ogunpa River Channel Blockage

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EnviroNews Ibadan
Members of the EnviroNews Advocacy team with the Oyo State Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, and staff of the Environment Ministry during a visit by the group to the ministry in Ibadan.

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), EnviroNews Advocacy and Campaigns for Sustainability has issued a stern warning to the residents of Ibadan, Oyo State, against the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the Ogunpa channel, in a bid to avert a potential flood disaster.

During a comprehensive campaign tour on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, the organisation expressed deep concern over the alarming transformation of the Ogunpa River channel into a dumping ground. The group, led by its executive director, Michael Simire and head of the legal department, Yomi Ogunlola emphasised the need to prevent the recurrence of devastating flood disasters that occurred in the city in 1960, 1963, 1978, 1980 and 2011, which resulted in loss of lives and extensive property damage.

In a visit to Tribune Newspapers, Simire stated, “We are deeply concerned about the Ogunpa channelisation issue. We set out today (Tuesday) to do some campaigns; to advocate and talk to the leaders and the people.”

The group engaged with various stakeholders, including the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr. Abdulmojeed Mogbonjubola, the State House of Assembly, BCOS, Ogunpa Channelisation Project, 32 FM, Splash FM and Fresh FM.

Simire highlighted the importance of addressing the issue promptly, stating, “They acknowledged that the dumping of refuse in the channel might result in another disaster because the drainage channel is being blocked gradually and when water comes, it will find its way.”

In a petition submitted to the Oyo State governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde, EnviroNews Advocacy urged the state government to take immediate action to halt the illegal dumping of refuse in the Ogunpa River channel. The organisation also called for the implementation of measures to ensure the prevention of such incidents in the future.

The NGO’s campaign emphasised the collaborative efforts needed from residents, market women, waste management authorities, local governments and waste management consultants to find alternative and responsible waste disposal solutions. The ultimate goal is to preserve the integrity of the Ogunpa River channel and mitigate the risk of future disasters caused by blockage and dumping activities.

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