No Going Back on Continuous Drainage Maintenance, Says Commissioner

No Going Back on Continuous Drainage Maintenance, Says Commissioner

Segun James

Lagos state government has said that there is no going back on its resolve on drainage and canal maintenance  in order to permanently address the menace of flooding in the State.

The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, who stated this while inspecting some  areas in Ikoyi, including State House, Dodan Barracks,  expressed satisfaction with the level of the cleaning of drainages at the Dodan Barracks Mammy market.

According to him, the issue of perennial flooding in that axis had become a matter of serious concern to the state government.

Wahab said: “I must say that i am satisfied with the level of compliance and  ongoing work around the State house on Dodan Barracks/Norman Williams Corridor; a lot have been done by the government  in removing the nuisances blocking the canals and waterways of the collector.”

The commissioner, accompanied by the Director Drainage Enforcement and Compliance,  Mahmood Adegbite, also visited Shoreline Estate, Onikoyi Estate, Park View and Banana Island and said that most structures in these areas did not observe the standard  three metres  required by law for the setback of secondary collector drains

“On investigation, we found out that the first property situated along Onikoyi/ Banana Island collector situated inside Onikoyi Estate left 2.5metres for the drainage setback and for us to have a balanced situation we will magnanimously adopt 2.5metre which is smaller than the  three metres required by law,” he said.

He said the ministry would serve  contravention notice immediately to  property owners along the corridor of Shoreline Estate/ Onikoyi Estate/Park View/ Banana Island collector whose properties fall within the channel setback.

He added that the property owners and residents along the aforementioned collector drain would be given the next seven days to move their fences on both sides of the channel while observing the 2.5metre drainage setback, saying enforcement would commence immediately after expiration of the mandatory notice.

The commissioner advised property owners and residents to voluntarily move the fences by themselves before the commencement of enforcement saying, if they fail to do so and allow Government to use tax payers funds to enforce, property owners would be surcharged for the expenses incurred.

The team also visited Banana Island where the street housing Ford Foundation was flooded and has elicited complaints from members of the Estate with a resolution to bring a permanent solution to flooding issues in the area.

“We noticed that some part of building of the Church of Nativity Vicarage, ongoing dredging work and the Estate extension project are responsible for disruption of free flow of water into the lagoon; all these will be corrected and setback will be enforced,” he said.

The Commissioner emphasised that the Ministry does not demolish buildings but only removes impediments to obstruct free flow of storm water into the drainage infrastructure as backed by the law.

“It is like the parable of the man with a cow still looking for a cricket to eat. You have a full land, why grab the little meant for clearing and maintenance of the canal, collector and primary channel?” he said.

He said the government would continually intensify its enlightenment efforts to sensitize residents on the essence of maintaining a flood less and clean environment at all time.

He appealed to residents to desist from the act of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainages, roads and other unauthorised places and support government efforts by ensuring the regular clearing of drainages in front of their houses for free-flow of water.  

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