Garba Mohammed, Permanent Secretary,Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

Cecilia Onah, Lafia

To tackle flooding, Nasarawa State Government has embarked on massive evacuation and clearing of drainage systems across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state.

Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Garba Mohammed, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Saturday in Lafia after the June sanitation exercise.

The Permanent Secretary expressed displeasure over the attitude of some residents disposing refuge in drains, thereby obstructing easy passage of water.

Mohammed said the ministry decided to clear the drains for now, adding that subsequently, house and shop owners would be held responsible for any blockage within their premises.

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According to him, giving the way flood has ravaged and is still ravaging communities in many states including some parts of Nasarawa State, the ministry would not allow anybody to block the water ways.

“When you block the water ways and prevent water from free flow, you are inviting disaster, because water will always find its way to pass,” the Permanent Secretary added.

On the level of compliance, the PS expressed satisfaction and applauded the traditional rulers, Chairmen of Area Councils as well as the security agencies for the success of the exercise.

He said that about the 90 per cent of the residents complied by looking up their shops and business to clean the surrounding during the exercise.

“We only allowed those with permission from relevant authorities and those on essential services to pass, and move around during the exercise,” he added.

Meanwhile 39 persons suspected to have violated environmental sanitation laws in Lafia and Karu Local Government Areas (LGAs) were arrested and prosecuted by various mobile courts in the state.