Lagos Begins Enforcement of Drainage Right of Way in Apapa

*Orders property owners to move or face demolition

Segun James

The Lagos state Government has warned owners of properties in Apapa waterfront area that it will commence demolition.

The decision follows the expiration of the ultimatum on the commencement of enforcement operations in Apapa to re-establish the three metres drainage Right of Way for all its drainage channels yesterday.

Speaking with newsmen after an inspection tour to check the level of compliance, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, said the enforcement activities is coming after the expiration of notices and convening of stakeholders meetings with the property owners to voluntarily move their fences that fall within the drainage setback earlier in the year.

He said the Ministry had served contravention notices to the buildings on the Drainge setbacks adding that for several years, the ministry has not  been able to access  the eight major collectors for maintanence purpose due to encroachment which is a major contributor to flooding issues being experienced in the Apapa.

He said the state Government was determined to finding a lasting  solution to the flooding issues in Apapa while directing that enforcement officers to ensure that  all contravening properties are removed from the drainage Right of way in accordance  with the three metres required by law assuring that the State will not cherrypick properties during the enforcement process.

“We want to check  the state of collectors in Apapa in order to evacuate and treat the Collectors; the whole of the Collectors in this area  are blocked and the right of way taken over by individuals who moved their fences in order to aquire extra land thereby denying us access to the drains” he said.

The Commissioner in company of the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr kunle Rotimi-Akodu; Permanent Secretary , Office of Drainage Services, Engr Mahamood  Adegbite; General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Tunde Ajayi; Managing Director, LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegeshin and some Directors visited  Pele Wura Collector drain,Abayomi Collector drain, Aerodrome Collector drain, all in the Apapa area of the State.

The Commissioner also inspected Rock Drive in Lekki I following a major complaint that some individuals  engaged in conversion of a purely residential area into a diesel depot directing immediate enforcement saying that the illegal depot poses the risk of a major fire outbreak in the area.

He directed the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to seal up the property while the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) officials demolished and arrested individuals found at the illegal shanties built around the depot  and therafter tow away the diesel trucks and vehicles stationed at the illegal depot.

He also visited Aunty Ayo Collector drain in Ikoyi where he expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cleaning of the drainage channels sounding  a note of warning to residents who usually engage in the unwholesome acts of indiscriminate refuse dumping  to desist from such act even as rainy season is here.

“Let us compliment Governments effort in ensuring that lagos is a flood free state by being decent in our waste disposal behaviour” he said.

He hinted that following the expiration of relocation notices issued  to all squatters occupying illegal shanties around the  Lagos coastal  road in Mayegun, Lekki area of  Lagos, enforcement will commence fully next week.

The Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said  Government is determined to find a realistic solution to the flooding  issue across the state by embarking on all year round drainage cleaning measures to control flooding.

He added that it is necessary for residents to also clean the tertiary drains that run across residences regularly while the Ministry has been consistently de-silting and working on various linkages to the secondary and primary channels to enable them discharge efficiently.

Related Articles