Idah LG: Ede-Adejo Water Channels Blocked by New Houses, Town Planners at Large

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Town Planners do not construct buildings. Rather they recommend how and where buildings should be built, what they should be used for and how they should fit into the local surroundings. However, the reverse is the case at Ede-Adejo in Idah Local Government Area of Kogi State where Town Planners are waiting to be invited officially, induced financially before carrying out their legitimate duties. The rate  owners of property are erecting building, illegal fencing on drainage channels and impeding the free-flow of water is alarming.

Ede-Adejo is a town in Idah Local Government Area endowed with strategic arable land for farming particularly rice. Rice farming is one of the most lucrative types of farming in Ibaji a nearby Local Government to Ede. Although rice is classified as a cash crop for the riverine farmers, it is one of the most consumed staple foods and important cereal seriously cultivated in the areas.

Nevertheless, Ede like Ibaji shares common affinity. They are great water channels especially during the periodic overflow of River Niger. Since local rice production started experiencing growth and demand for locally produced rice also increased. The ban placed on the importation of rice caused the price of foreign rice to soar, turning the attention of Nigerians to locally produced rice particularly from July 2015.

A relatively large chunk of Ibaji’ians’ began to relocate to the swampy area of Ede-Adejo Idah (aside schooling) with the hope that they will get something to do. Those who have relatives to squatt with cause a lot of congestion in the houses and those who don’t have anybody to lean on, will rent an apartment. This development has become  a booming business for builders to pop out structures indiscriminately hindering the free-flow of water via correct channels. 

Town planners are responsible for identifying environmental risks and designing solutions to mitigate the risks. However they are nowhere to be found especially to control structures yielding water storm blocking roads and pulling fences down anyhow. Everywhere is flood after heavy downpour.

Without mincing words, a well planned environment does not beautifies it alone. It promotes the economy and ensure a livable environment in terms of quality air, minimized pollution and balance of the open space environment. Above all it improves the health of the people and when there is health, productivity improves.

– Inah Stephen Eyiene writes from Idah, Idah LGA. 

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