The Lagos State Government has expressed commitment to ramp up monitoring and enforcement enforcement to reclaim drainage alignments in the state.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, made the commitment on Sunday said that the government is set out to restore setbacks and drainage alignments towards the prevention of flooding in the state.
Wahab led a high profile delegation of the ministry and newsmen on an inspection tour of some enforcement sites including Dodan Barracks, Norman Williams Road, the Bucknor Oke-Afa channel in Oshodi/Isolo Local Government and Magodo,
He vowed that the enforcement exercise would be a continuous one geared towards making the state flood free.
He maintained that the activities of the Ministry is on the field, hence the reason why he leads from the front.
” We come out everyday and also push our people our officers out because we are a public facing ministry and we must continually enforce” Wahab said.
Wahab who was accompanied by the Special Adviser, Environment, OlaKunle Rotimi-Akodu, Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Gaji Omobolaji and some directors from the Ministry said the present administration was at the fore front of promoting and enforcing a flood free Lagos.
Speaking on what transpired at the Oke Afa/ Bucknor location where several buildings on the drainage setback have been pulled down after delays in enforcement, Wahab said that some of the residents sued the state ro prevent it from reclaiming the setback .
He added that the case was struck out, enabling the ministry to act decisively in the interest of the generality of the people to enable the contractor that would work on the secondary collector to be mobilized to site
He said that it was regrettable that all the houses built on the setback had no drainage clearance and had no business erecting the houses.
“Houses were found to have been built and in the process, they closed up the natural path of water but will later turn around to accuse government of inaction with respect to flooding” Wahab said.
The team also inspected Dodan Barracks/Norman Williams Channel, to ascertain the level of compliance with respect to the enforcement of setback for the secondary collector in the axis as well as to decide how to clear and desilt the blocked collector that has affected the State House.
He added that major cleaning still needs to be done at Norman Williams/ Awolowo Road Channel but the flood situation has reduced drastically adding that in the week ahead equipment would be deployed to the channel in order to be cleared inward the lagoon.
According to him, People should do a proper charting of their land to know where their land is situated, whether commercial or residential or mixed area before building, saying all requirements must be met before construction commences.
At Amuwo Odofin, Wahab inspected the Sewage treatment Plant that is expected to serve the residents, adding that an issue regarding joint usage of the location has been settled and that Waste Water Agency would take over the facility next week.
The Commissioner and his team also visited Magodo Wetland site to check the state of the natural wetland in the Estate and instructed that a signpost should be erected there to ward off people that intend to take over and build on the wetland.
“We don’t want a repeat of what is being experienced at Isheri-Oshun, if such is allowed, what will be experienced will surely be more disastrous compared to what is being experienced in Isheri-Oshun axis now,” Wahab said.
Also the Special Adviser on Environment Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said that the Sanwo olu administration is determined to prevent further loss of lives and properties occasioned by flooding and that was what necessitated the continous reclaimation of drainage alignments across the state in the the first place.
He said the reclamation of the drainage channels would contribute to sustainable environment and a quality living environment for everyone adding that the cooperation of all residents was necessary for a flood free and sustainable environment.