Kwara State Government has urged the people of the state, particularly the Oja-Iya community to renew their commitment to continuing to sustain the management of cleaning rivers and waterways across the state.
The State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Usman Yunusa Lade, stated this at this year’s World Rivers Day celebration, with the theme,’ Right of Rivers’, organized by the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA), held today at Oja-Iya Riverside Ilorin, Kwara State.
The Commissioner said that rivers are the lifeblood of our planet and of every living entity which also helps to sustain the ecosystem, communities, and economies thus, the need to observe its’ rights by protecting its ways to allow it to flow freely without hindrances.
To do this effectively and efficiently, Lade said is the responsibility of every one of us in the state and Nigeria at large.
Also speaking during the occasion, the Commissioner for Environment and Tourism, Mallam Shehu Ndanusa Usman, said that World Rivers’ Day is a yearly event set aside for the celebration of the world’s Waterways. To this end, Rivers in Kwara state cannot be an exception.
The Commissioner for Environment said that the Rivers’ Day celebration highlights many values of Rivers and also strives to create and increase public awareness as well as encourage improving stewardship of all rivers around the world.
Usman said the intervention of Kwara State Governor, His Excellency Mallam Abdulrahman AbdulRasaq through the Ministry of Environment on the protection and sustainable use of Rivers is the dredging of the Aluko River up to Oja-Iya River to control perennial flooding within Ilorin metropolis.
He stressed that the state government will provide a Waste bin for Oja-Iya communities to dump their refuse to disallow dumping of the same into the waterways.
Usman said that rivers are the gift of nature and in this wise, everyone must be mindful of anything or activities that are capable of creating a barrier to the free flow of the rivers in any part of the state and Nigeria in general.
Sharing his view at the occasion, the Commissioner for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Mrs. Thomas Oloruntoyosi, applauded the organizers and encouraged them to take it a step further by engaging the key stakeholders and ensuring the implementation of government policies in this direction.
Oluwatoyosi assured the people of his Ministry’s resolve to continue to promote clean water, clean up rivers, river restoration, and river conservation across the nooks and crannies of the state.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority, Dr. Adeniyi Aremu, his agency under the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has its primary function of sustaining the development of both surface and underground water.
He said the 2023 World Rivers Day celebration requires that everyone should stop polluting, and illegal grabbing of Rivers, stop negative activities, and encourage regular cleaning to allow the free flow of rivers.
Aremu advised the people of the Oja-Iya community to make sure they clean the river especially since it is one of the main tributaries of the Asa River which is a major source of domestic water supply to about 50% of the teeming population in the Ilorin metropolis.
The Mogaji of Oja-Iya Community Chief, Isaka Awopegba who was represented by Mr. Musa Mustapha, commended the organizers and state government for the campaign to create public awareness and enlightenment to keep rivers clean.