The Lagos State Government on Tuesday rallied experts in the drainage sector for inputs in the development of a Secondary Drainage Masterplan for selected Local Governments.
The government said that the move was part of its efforts to reduce the challenge of flooding in the State.
Speaking at the forum, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Mr Tokunbo Wahab said the State was keen to develop an implementation strategy to reduce flooding.
Wahab emphasized that Government and residents must collectively ensure that flood risks are managed in a sustainable, equitable and effective manner.
According to him, the gathering is a testament to the commitment of the present administration to always give residents an input into government plans, stressing that due cognisance will be taken of all the points raised.
He recalled that the first case of major flooding was recorded in year 2012/2013 and the government at that time was frontal in its approach, adding that there has been improvements in the drainage system over the years.
“We will not rest on our oars, we shall continue to engage in all year round cleaning and infrastructural development to ensure that Lagos is free of flooding,” Wahab said.
He said that the world was experiencing global warming which was bringing about situations where countries with the best infrastructure have in recent times been experiencing flooding.
While addressing participants, the Special Adviser on Environment Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said that the ministry has started the journey to find a lasting solution to the menace of flooding as such everyone’s opinion was welcomed.
Rotimi -Akiodu said that the meeting would create avenues on how better synergy could be created between the State and Local Governments, ministerial departments and communities.
“If anyone in your area builds on drainages, right of way or set back, please get a video and send to the ministry so that the culprit can be prosecuted; I promise that such person will be compensated and the culprit sanctioned” Rotimi- Akiodu said.
He said the ministry appreciates the contribution of everyone, adding that their inputs would be reflected before the next stakeholders engagement.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr Olalekan Shodeinde, noted that the first master plan was in the 1970s and this became the guide for interventions in storm water management sector adding that water if not managed properly, could become a menace.
Shodeine said that the first master plan gave birth to another master plan in the year 2015 majorly for primary channels which were naturally existing canals that are natural waterways to channel water into the lagoon.
The P.S said that there was the need to have a masterplan for the secondary collector drains.
He said that the Priority One project will covero Ikorodu, Kosofe, Eti-osa, Shomolu and Ibeju Lekki which are believed to be the most flood prone Local Government areas in the state.
He added that the priority two project would cover Ajeromi, Ifelodun , Òjò, Amuwo Odofin and Alimosho Local Government Area.
In his presentation, the Lead Consultant from Pheman Peniel Consultant Ltd, Dr. Emmanuel Adeyemo said that the essence of the intervention was to reduce flooding and to manage flood risk in a sustainable manner.
He said the intervention would also help the office of Drainage Services to manage the future of drainage developmental and flood mitigation activities.
He reiterated that the masterplan is a 40 -year developmental plan from 2025 to 2065 where problematic areas havd been identified especially the low lying area conditions as well as alleviate negative impact of flooding to minimize health issues.
The Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon Lanre Afinni and Permanent Secretary, Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen were also present at the forum.
Other important dignitaries who participated at the workshop included Former Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen of Local Government, Experts in the built and engineering sectors as well as other Stakeholders in the Environment ecosystem.
By Fabian Ekeruche