By Ifeoma Ofurum
A University lecturer and retired director of forestry, Dr. Cyriacus Udah, has advised the Imo State Government to make it mandatory for people to include flood management plan in their building plans, both in rural and urban areas in the state.
Delivering a lecture at a workshop for the state ministries, departments and agencies organized by the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Udah said that every individual should participate in the control of erosion because all flood that comes to the road originates from individual buildings.
In the lecture entitled ‘Erosion Control in Imo State Micro Watershed Management approach, he stressed that flooding in the urban centres are caused by the blockage of the drainage systems.
He further advised the people to manage their waste well by sorting them into three categories. Such as those that can be burnt like plastics, nylon, materials etc, those that can be sold like metals and iron, and those that can be buried.
He said it is better to dispose of waste products this way than dropping them carelessly or inside the gutters which subsequently block the drainage systems.
He, therefore, appealed to the participants to ensure that they educate the public, especially those at the hinterland, on how to manage their waste and control erosion in whatever they do.
In his lecture also, Engr. Samuel Ogbede, who spoke on “Integrated Watershed Management as a key to prevention of land degradation said activities such as deforestation, over grazing and incessant bush burning, when not properly managed, can cause serious erosion and flooding.
This affects the socio-economic life in the environment. He pointed out that bush burning can cause environmental hazards because, according to him it temporarily raises the ambient temperature.
He, however, appealed to government to contribute its quota by making legislations and providing funds to help in the implementation of sustainable policies towards integrated watershed management.
He pointed out since watershed protection is a transboundary issue, it requires the efforts of local, regional and national governments to save our environment.
He also urged citizens to form Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or farmers’ co-operative groups and educate the populace on the need to protect watershed for a healthy environment.