Flood Disaster

Flood disaster caused by Setraco Construction Company infront of Ogba Zoo

The excavation of gutters in front of the Zoo by Setraco Construction Company in the course of ongoing rehabilitation of Airport Road resulted in the disastrous flooding of the Zoo on Tuesday November 6, 2012. The company excavated the gutters along with a wide portion of the embankment thus alowing the floodwaters to sweep the mountains of construction materials piled along the road with massive force that smashed through the zoo fences in several section, wrecking extensive havoc on the facility.

 

 

2. The Zoo animals were buried in mud and seriously traumatised, while some escaped and had to be tracked and recaptured. The entire premises was rendered inaccessible due to piles of debris – boulders, stones, sand, mud, filth, etc, that were deposited all over by the floodwaters, necessitating the Zoo’s temporary closure. That the incident happened late in the evening helped avert possible human casualties but the wildlife exhibits required immediate and intensive veterinary attention, with simultaneous extensive health and environmental protection measures. 

3. Officials of the Ministry of Environment, along with those of Setraco Construction Company and the Project Consultant, jointly paid an inspection visit to the zoo on the 8th of December 2012, to ascertain the incident and extent of devastation, as well as to consider urgent remedial measures, which were all widely reported in the media. In the overwhelming and harrowing circumstances immediately after the incident, and till date, the Zoo Management has not received any form of assistance from any quarters – corporate or otherwise, to help remedy the situation.

4. A disaster valuation report along with Veterinary / environmental expenses were computed and forwarded through the State Government. Till date, a period now going to six months, no responce or any assistance has been recieved from either Setraco Nig Ltd or the State Government. Meanwhile, the fallouts of the disaster continue to mount.

Amplifying Notes

5. The Ogba Zoo has been surviving under very harsh operational circumstances due to the following:

a.      The prolonged delay in the provision of a proper access road.

b.     The devastating community encroachment resulting from Government’s inadvertent de-acquisition of a large expanse of the Zoo, which issues have been lingering for almost ten years; and yet to be fully resolved.

c.      With very high overhead running costs, there is liitle institutional support and near absence of charities in this clime.

6. Ogba Zoo has been resuscitated through the pioneering efforts of the current Management without any financial burden on Government. Rather, it has struggled to meet with its obligations through thick and thin, in the face of these and other challenges. The recent flooding disaster is thus a veritable state of emergency for this popular heritage of Edo State.  The Comrade Governor is therefore being called upon to help mobilize urgent assistance for the Zoo , as well as deaol with other pending issues that will help the Zoo become operational.

ZOO COMMUNICATIONS AND PR DEPT