Flooding caused by heavy rainfall has been a major problem to residents of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, for many years.
Most of the floods have been worsened due to lack of drains in some areas and poor refuse management in some others.
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Buhari Yusuf who lives at Umarari, Bolori 2, said the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drains and waterways had led to streets ponding during the rainy season.
Yusuf said, “People have to use embankments to divert from their houses onto the streets after a heavy rainfall.”
Therefore, to avoid the flood menace this year, Yusuf said the state’s environmental authorities had in the last couple of days started removing waste from drains.
He said, “Surface water now drains away after the rains easily in Maiduguri, unlike before.”
Baa Kaka, a trader at the Post Office area, said drainage networks in the location constructed in the 70s and early 80s which were blocked by sediments had been reclaimed thereby averting “perennial” flooding.
He said some of the networks were clogged by solid waste dumped by residents, and therefore advised people to imbibe the culture of proper waste disposal and management.
He said houses built on waterways mostly by land grabbers had also led to flooding in some instances.
Meanwhile, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, while supervising the drainage evacuation work in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) and Jere Local Government Area, urged the people to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Gov Zulum said, “I urge our people to behave well; you have seen the water channels, but people have filled them up with tyres, even concrete slabs and other things.”
He expressed displeasure at the behaviour of some people building shops and business facilities on drains thereby blocking free passage of water.
He said, “As you can see here, we have identified some persons who built on waterways thereby blocking the free flow of water to the channels, causing flooding every rainy season. These shops have been demolished and we have recovered the waterways.”
Also, the Commissioner for Environment, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, said hundreds of kilometres of drains had been de-silted within in Maiduguri, Jere and Mafa LGAs.