Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has inaugurated the state’s Directorate on Erosion and Flood Control.
The directorate, which is headed by a surveyor, Mr. Omusco W. Omusco, is in response to the perennial flood devastation and the impact of coastal erosion in the riverine state.
The body is charged with the responsibility of proffering solutions to the twin natural disasters.
Governor Diri, while inaugurating the members on Wednesday in Government House, Yenagoa, stated that the impact of erosion and annual flooding on the socio- economic lives of Bayelsans necessitated the setting up of the directorate.
The Bayelsa governor charged the members to put in their best and write their names in the history of the state.
He assured the directorate of his support to ensure that the objectives for establishing it were achieved, noting that the members were carefully selected based on their pedigree.
He said: “You were carefully and thoroughly selected. I have no doubt in my mind that you fit in for this assignment
“Yours is, therefore, an urgent invitation to save lives and property and write your names indelibly in the annals of Bayelsa State and Nigeria.
“You must address the threats of flooding and erosion with the utmost priority that they deserve. Developing sustainable flood management practices, introduce erosion control techniques and design flood-resistant structures among other methods that can be adopted to mitigate the risks involved.
“The impact of flood and erosion is far-reaching and you can attest to that. We must collectively take action to address the immediate and long-term impact of these natural disasters.”
He also urged Bayelsans to collectively work towards the control of flooding and erosion due to their negative consequences.
In his remarks, the Director General, Mr. Omusco, assured that they would give their best to achieve the purpose for setting up of the body.
Other members are Daniel Ebi, who is the secretary, Prof. Edmond Allison-Oguru, Surveyor Yerite Quickpenny, Engr. Waritimi Amos, Surveyor Ebifuro Odubo, Kingsley Oyinke, Very Rev. Peter Ikuli and two technical advisers.
In a related development, Governor Diri also announced the designation of lands along the newly-completed 10.2km dual carriageway from the Ecumenical Centre at Igbogene to Onopa as a development planning area.
He said the action was to enable government plan and control development that would be in tandem with urban planning and to forestall haphazard development in the state capital.
The governor explained that he was empowered by the Land Use Act of 2004 and the Bayelsa State Physical Planning and Development Law 2015 to make the proclamation, which takes immediate effect.
He said: “The new Yenagoa City Development Planning Area, which is the boundary starting by the bounds of Taylor Creek by the Zarama Bridge on the East-West Road.
“The boundary follows the course of the Nun River to the Taylor Creek by the East-West Road at certain Point A.
“The area in focus is an estimated 16 hectares, covering a distance of 32.6 kilometres from the East-West Road and terminating at Onopa.
“All that land on Glory Drive from the toll gate to Onopa, covering all that land from the Taylor Creek and Epie Creeks, through the Ekole River with an estimated area of 15,000 hectares of land is declared as development planning area. This proclamation shall take effect immediately and shall remain until further notice.
“From airport road at Tombia to the Ecumenical Centre area, the government has immediately designated it as Government Planning Area in order to stop haphazard development.“