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Flood, Erosion To Gulp N100bn In Rivers – Prof. Bell-Gam …Seeks International Assistance

 Following the imminent threat of flood and erosion Rivers State, a huge sum of over N100bn will be required to dissuade the 23 local government area disaster. This hint was given during interview with Newswriter Editor by Prof. Winston Bell-Gam, chairman, flood and erosion committee in his office in Port Harcourt. The chairman also stated that Port Harcourt city, capital of the state done will gulp about N40bn to fight the menace of flood and erosion. He stated that the 8 man committee is working assiduously will all the LGA council to half the imminent threat before it boils down to what happened in Lagos state recently. Prof. Bell-Gam, therefore called on the federal government, geological fund mangers, corporative organizations and the international bodies to come to the aid of the state by providing adequate financial assistance to arrest the ugly situation threatening the state. “We have received master plan from the state government and we are implementing it to the letter”, he said. The chairman noted that three major handicaps contributed to flooding include firstly, the rubbish inhabitants generate at home do not have proper way of disposing them, rather they are thrown into the gutters. Secondly the bottles of used water are dumped into the channels and thirdly building are erected to block the drainages in order to get into houses, he noted. “We are therefore cleaning up three major creeks, Ntawogba Waja and Mini ekwere creeks to flow through Port Harcourt metropolis into Bonny River passing through Okrika area of the state. When these channels are opened, we should have an avenue which the drainage can flow away, he observed. Prof. Bell-Gam said the state had about 3,000 millimeter of rainfall per annum, which he noted was the highest rainfall adding that if urgent attention is not given to open up the channels it might lead to unforeseen disaster in the state. “My committee is trying to beautify 50 km of the city and secondary draining system and that people should respect our work by cleaning their environments” he said Prof. Bell-Gam observed that inhabitants in trans Amadi area of Port Harcourt dump their wastes into the channels and warned them to desist from such acts, adding that people should be punished for indulging in the act of closing channel and drainages. Culprits should not go sect free as a deterrent to others. He however noted that all what the past governments have done by building micro drainages system from one ….. to other are not having free flow and the water found its way into the ground in order t flow into the river. The land mark occupied by man when not cleared forms flooding, he stated. ### Senibo A. Atagbara

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