The Edo State Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Tom Obaseki, has canvassed for media collaboration in driving the conversation on flood control as the rains intensify.
Obaseki made the submission at a flood engagement workshop organised by the agency in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
He stressed that beyond government action and infrastructural intervention, there was need for all stakeholders, particularly the media to continue to sensitize the people so they can take ownership of flood control efforts and change their attitude towards environmental protection.
According to him, “The media has a crucial role in spreading information in bridging the knowledge gap and enhancing public awareness. The media chooses which issues to highlight to its viewers and how to frame them, influencing what people perceive to be a priority.
“When the public discussion about a particular topic is structured in such a way that it creates a sense of outrage and menace, people will put pressure on their leaders to put that issue at the top of the political agenda.
“The manner in which the media presents information shapes audience perceptions. When communicating a message, the media transmits not just the content of the message, but also their interpretation of it.”
Highlighting the state government’s intervention in tackling erosion in the state, Obaseki said that the state government has built a total length of over 40 kilometers of secondary drains.
“We have built a total length of over 40kms of secondary drains. This excludes over 400km constructed by other ministries and agencies; over 14kms of primary stormwater culverts, drains and over 4km of earth storm water channels. This is more than what has been done by any other government in the history of the state.
On his part, the Resident Engineer and ZUTARI Consultant, Mr Almeroux Loubser, said global warming has contributed to the excessive rains while advocating for use of green energy solutions to reduce burning of fossils.