In preparation for this year’s rainy season, Lagos State Government has instructed law enforcement agencies to pull down all gates constructed across drainage canals and channels in Victoria Island.
The state government said that removal of the gates and structures erected on canals and drainages would enable its flood abatement team to have access to evacuate silts and waste already excavated from the drains immediately.
Giving the directive on Sunday, Commissioner, Tunji Bello, said though the gates were erected by residents to prevent encroachment, they are hindering the immediate evacuation of refuse and silts and would be fixed after the evacuation.
While urging owners of illegal shanties on drainage alignments in IKoyi and Victoria to begin removal, the commissioner hinted that the Special Committee on Clean-Up of the environs would soon resume operation and would pull down all illegal structures.
According to him, the present administration will spare no efforts in ensuring that water flows through the drains unhindered with continuous clearing and cleaning.
“The whole of Victoria Island is below the sea level, so automatically whenever it rains heavily, the water will accumulate and it takes a considerable period of time to drain. We will continue to work and interface with the Residents Association of Victoria Island and Ikoyi because they have always been supportive with adequate information on some of these environmental infractions”, Bello added.
The commissioner, however, ordered the contractor to handle the evacuation of waste from drains on Sanusi Fafunwa, Adeola Odekun collectors, and Agoro Odiyan canals to return to the site and remove silts and structures on the alignments.
Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainages and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, hinted that efforts were already been intensified to ensure resident engineers work with Community Development Associations (CDA) to monitor the cleanup exercise.
According to him, work is ongoing on 268 secondary and primary channels to ensure residents of Lagos have a flood-free rainy season.
“As part of the government’s commitment to a safe, clean and healthy environment, we embarked on these massive projects in order to prevent flooding that can lead to loss of lives and properties, if not properly managed”.
He decried the infringement of setbacks around Drainage channels which has been slowing down the removal and evacuation of silts and urged residents to set aside at least 10 to 15 meters of setback from drainage channels to enable unhindered access to drainage canals always.
Some of the areas visited during the tour were Oju Olobun/Olaogun Agbaje/Adeola Odeku/Kofo Abayomi/Ozumba Mbadiwe by outfall on Ozumba Mbadiwe. Saka Jojo/ Danmole. Other areas include Olubosi Close/ Kasunmu Ekemode/Akin Adesola/Karimu Akotun/Adetokunboh Ademola Collector (By Karimu Kotun/Akin Adesola).