By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Friday hinted that Oyo State Government is to set to find an integrated, comprehensive and enduring solution to the problem of flooding in and across Ibadan, the state capital with the rehabilitation of the over 70 years old Eleyele Dam.
The governor while dropping the hint in Ibadan while speaking at the flagged off of the rehabilitation of the Eleyele Dam declared that the rehabilitation of the Dam would not only help answer questions bothering on stoppage of flooding of Ibadan but also address the difficulties faced by the people in accessing portable water.
Speaking through the State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Chief Isaac Isola, the governor pointed out that the
the contractor handling the overhaul of the dam, Messrs CGC-CHWE Joint Venture, and other partners, had been given a maximum of 24 months to complete the project.
“As a government, we saw wisdom in coming up with an integrated, comprehensive and enduring solution to the problem of flooding in the city. Unlike the piecemeal and largely reactive responses of past administrations in the State, we decided to take the bull by the horns, if we would like to change the narrative of longstanding perennial flooding in Ibadan. One of the results of such a resolve is the ceremony we are witnessing today” he said
Governor Ajimobi added “My joy knows no bounds today on this landmark occasion of the flag-off of the rehabilitation works on the Eleyele Dam. The reasons for my delight are not difficult to decipher. One of the major challenges that first confronted this administration upon our assumption of office in 2011 was the devastating flood event of 26th August, 2011, an unfortunate incident that ravaged many parts of Ibadan, consuming in its wake, hundreds of human lives and several million naira worth of properties.”
According to the governor, the Eleyele Dam, which was approaching its 70th anniversary then, was badly hit during the August 2011 flooding which led to an overflow of the dam and degradation of the appurtenant structures, saying, “the implication of this was that, one of the two fictional values of the Eleyele Dam, which was to help flood control during high flow periods through its reservoir holding capacity, had been compromised.”
He stressed that “the benefits accruable from a rehabilitated modernized Eleyele Dam are, to say the least, enormous.” adding that “among them is the improved capacity of the dam to help contain flooding in and around Ibadan”.
” On completion, the dam will have improved capacity to contain flooding in and around Ibadan. Yet another derivable benefit is that the capacity of the dam to supply treated water to the city of Ibadan and would be greatly boosted.”
Emphasizing that “as a result of rapid urban development in Ibadan, the Eleyele Dam is now located upstream of some densely populated and fully developed parts of the city” the governor said. ‘a. responsible and responsive government would, therefore, see every reason to have the dam in good shape, with a view to preventing dam failure or overflow, thereby averting the colossal loss of lives and property such an accident can cause.”
He maintained that “yet another derivable benefit is that the capacity of the dam to supply treated water to the city of Ibadan would be greatly boosted.” saying, ” I can foresee a situation whereby the dam, when delivered, would become a major provider of clean water to support the burgeoning industrial revolution that is fast gaining ground in Ibadan particularly and other parts of Oyo State in general.”
Oyo state Commissioner for Finance and Budget, Mr Abimbola Adekanmbi while speaking said the contractors and supervising consultants were selected through a carefully and competitively-packages bidding process in line with the policies and procedures of the World Bank.
“On behalf of the Steering Committee of Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project, I will like to assure the stakeholders that the project, from the expertise and resources available to the IUFMP and the relevant partnering MDAs, will ensure qualitative and qualitative and timely delivery of this rehabilitation work.” he said.