Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has vowed to press ahead with the state green economy initiative as this will alleviate poverty and ensure sustainable development of Delta state in line with his vision of ‘Delta beyond oil’.
He made this declaration in Rio, Brazil, during the United Nation’s Sustainable Development conference, at the panel of Governors of R20 members, led by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, (former governor of California) an international organization, committed to combating climate change by building climate resilient projects.
The Governor, who is the Vice Chairman of R20 (Africa and Middle East), expressed frustration at the inability of national governments to make progress in reaching agreement on how to tackle climate change.
He however expressed the hope that through sub-national governments, some actions are being taken, stating that Delta state is serious about its climate change programme, adding: “Delta desires to diversify her energy economy from overreliance on traditional fossil fuel and environmentally degrading sources to clean and renewable sources.
“The state and the Niger delta region particularly as I have often said, has suffered a lot of environmental degradation. The livelihood of our people particularly farmers, fishermen, etc., have been eroded.
“Our focus is to ensure we develop projects that not only help address this problem but that is also economically sustainable. We also need to find a way of using green economy to create jobs and alleviate poverty of the poor in our society” he added.
Meanwhile, on his return from the United Nation’s Sustainable Development conference in Rio, Brazil to Delta state, Governor Uduaghan has directed the construction company handling the drainage system in Asaba to work day and night and complete work within the next two weeks.
Dr. Uduaghan who gave the directive while inspecting the progress of work on the drainage system reiterated his determination to check flooding and keep Asaba dry.
He therefore appealed to residents in Asaba to bear with the government as it was making effort to complete work on shedule.
“The residents of Asaba should be patient with the state government. The drainage work on major roads will be completed in the next two weeks and flooding will become a thing of the past in the state capital.”
The governor said the present effort would channel water from Okpanam axis as well as the Mariam Babangida way down to Anwai River and completely elimenate the present flooding in some of those areas.
Standing strategically on top of the drainage system he directed the Commissioner for Works, and Environment, to provide temporary measure on the Mariam Babangida way pending the long term connection of the road to the major drainage system on Anwai Road.
He was optimistic that when completed the present drainage system would check flooding and keep all the major roads in the town dry and healthy.
In answer to a question, Dr. Uduaghan said the problem of DLA road was not only that of drainage system but that of compensation because residents built houses carelessly without adhering to town planning rules.
He disclosed that to do proper drainage system and reconstruct the road, the state government would pay heavy compensation even as he explained that, in the alternative house built without approval would be demolished.
“The DLA road contract has been awarded, what the road requires is a major drainage, we will pay compensation on the legal structures that will be demolished but will not pay compensation on the illegal structures build along the channels.”
Responding, the Managing Director of Modis Construction Nigeria Limited, Mr. Peter Karim explained that the company was working tirelessly to ensure that the drainage system was completed on scheduled.
He observed that the flood along Okpanam road through Inter-bau rounabout would be channelled to Anwai River by weekend to solve the current menace.
“We are working hard to ensure that this drainage system is completed by weekend. The flood will be channelled from Okpanam road through Inter-Bau to Anwai River. In the next few weeks there will be no flooding in this area.”