World Rivers Day: Benin Owena Management Plants trees at Ogba River

By DADA AYOKHAI

The Management of the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, BORBDA, marked this year’s World Rivers Day with the planting of trees and the clearance of debris at the popular Ogba River in Benin, the Edo State capital .

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The World Rivers Day is held annually every fourth Sunday of September each year to draw the attention of the public and stakeholders to the critical importance of protecting our water bodies as well as tapping their natural potential for the benefit of the human race.

The theme of this year’s celebration is, “The Incredible Natural, Cultural, and Recreational Values of Rivers and Streams in our Communities”

The BORBDA management, led by its Managing Director, Engr. Saliu Ahmed decided to embark on a roadshow to mark the Day, give a fillip to its significance, and also arouse sufficient public interest.

The roadshow  finally made a stop-over at the popular Ogba River bank where Engr. Ahmed led other management staff in a  clearance of the heap of debris at the bank of the river as well as the planting of trees.

Planting of  trees along the river banks  according to the Managing director of BORBD,  Engr Ahmed in an interview said it  helps  prevention  of various types of pollutants into the river water and also prevent the erosion of the fertile soil found on the banks of the river.

In his address, Engr. Ahmed reiterated the BORBDA mandate, saying the Authority is saddled with the onerous task of leading the charge to fully develop both the surface and underground body of water resources for multipurpose use.

He said, “The importance of rivers for human survival and the ability to thrive cannot be overstated. Rivers are not just areas of important biodiversity, but also serve as home to endangered wildlife that is vitally important to the human race”
Frowning at the way we have treated our body of water, he enumerated the danger of pollution arising from the indiscriminate dumping of waste and other atrocious human activities such as using obnoxious chemicals while fishing, and surmised that these unwholesome practices have rendered the waterways most unsafe to human life

He noted also that the BORBDA management, hugely impressed by its strong advocacy to keep the waterways clean and safe for human use, decided to build on such gains during this year’s World Rivers Day.

He called for an immediate stop to the dumping of waste in our rivers, adding the ecosystem is greatly destroyed by such unwholesome attitudes.

He further submitted that “many of our water bodies are in danger as a result of pollution and other unwholesome human practices”, stating it is incumbent on us all to desist from “hurting our rivers and the ecosystem” and start a deliberate and conscious effort to preserve our natural habitat

The high point of the celebration, besides clearing the banks of River Ogba, was the delivery of a lecture on the importance of water.

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