IKA WEEKLY – In recent times, Orogodo River has generated a lot of public intrest and concern amongst the people of Ika nation, especially the residents of Boji-Boji metropolis.
The problem of Orogodo River was accentuated by the topographical nature of the area, which lies in a valley, making it susceptible to erosion. Debris coming from as far as Emuhu finds its way effortlessly into the river.
Over the years, the beautiful scenery of this major river that passes through the area became distorted not only by the onslaught of erosion but equally by the unwholesome human activities of residents of the metropolis. The river became the natural receptacle of domestic and commercial wastes, emanating from private homes and business concerns.
The local authorities who were supposed to be responsible for evacuation of refuse, through placing huge refuse bins at strategic places, as it was done in the 70â€™s and early 80â€™s abandoned their statutory duty.
As such, residents had no option but to adopt the unhealthy habit of dumping refuse into the waterways, which has, over the years filled the river.
The raining season that just ended laid bare the seriousness and magnitude of the problem. Each rainfall ends in the overflowing of the river, partly submerging the bridge which was blocked by refuse, thrown into the gutters by residents, who find it more convenient and cheap to dispose off their household wastes whenever it rains.
The tradition of dumping refuse into the drainage system was encouraged by the inability of the local authorities to evolve modern and practical way of managing household garbage.
It is instructive to state unequivocally that the issue of Orogodo river will not be completely solved just by dredging it.
While it is highly commendable that the Federal Government, through the Benin/Owena River Basin Development Authority, has commenced the long expected dredging of the river, it is still imperative that the people residing in the area should help in making the dredging an enduring success.
It is not enough for the federal government to expend so much money dredging the river only to have it relapse to its former terrible state.
Now is the time to start putting workable and reliable measures in place that could aid in saving the Orogodo River from being overtaken by debris and weeds again.
It behoves on government and all other allied agencies and stake holder responsible for the proper sanitation of Boji-Boji metropolis, especially the two local government councils to urgently evolve measures that could help in altering the negative orientation and attitude of residents on refuse disposal.
And taking into consideration, the fact that the people are imbued with rationality, they should realize that the harm and consequences of their ugly actions affects everybody. They should therefore, henceforth desist from dumping refuse into the waterways.
Equally of great importance is the need for the government, as a matter of urgency, to give the necessary support, by way of legal backing to all environmental service outfits operating in the area.
I am aware that some of these companies are having difficulties getting compliance from residents, who are reluctant to abide by the rules guiding refuse disposal.
Government should make it mandatory for every resident to, not only make their refuse available for proper disposal, but to also pay the stipulated amount at the end of every month or yearly, as the case may be.
The issue of broken and improperly constructed drainage systems should also be looked into. All badly constructed and damaged gutters should be repaired for free flow of water, so as to save our roads.
We cannot lay back and allow the Orogodo River to be rubbished again by our carefree and irresponsible attitude. This is a clarion call to all residents of Boji-Boji metropolis and the two council areas of Ika South and Ika North East.
Finally, our people, particularly prominent indigenes should monitor the project, making sure that the job is done according to specification and contractual agreement between the Federal Government and the executing contracting firm.