As the rains continued unabated leading to heavy clogged drainages across part of Lagos State, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab with the Special Adviser, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu have assures that the government will accelerate clearing of the drainages.
The Commissioner and SA who were accompanied by the two Permanent Secretaries of the ministry on Thursday during their first inspection of some of on going drainage projects and channels in the state, stated that special attention will be paid to heavily clogged up drains in the state.
Addressing newsmen who accompanied them at the end of the tour at Ilubirin Housing Estate, Mr. Wahab urged residents to desist from unwholesome dumping of refuse in canals and drainage channels across the state, as he charged residents to desist from erecting structures on drainages set backs and alignments.
He reiterated the readiness of the present administration to proffer a lasting solution to the issue of flooding across the state, asking residents to be ready to play their part while bearing in mind that Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash flooding.
“I will like to assure all residents that the government is not resting on its oars. We are determined to build reliable and excellent infrastructure and will not do a shoddy job. I appeal to residents to be patient with us on some of the on going projects whose completion have been delayed by inclement weather” he said.
He appealed to all residents to take ownership of these canals and drains in their localities as the government cleans and maintains them, reiterating that they should desist from encroaching on canals and drainages right of way.
Responding to a question on the completion date for the mega pump station at Ilubirin which is expected to drain water from flooded depressed areas of Ojo Giwa, Oroyinyin and Idumagbo in central Lagos, Wahab stated that while the contractor gave a date of next nine months, he would ensure that it is fast tracked and completed before that date with good weather permitting.
Wahab also assured all residents of Akinola Aboru in Alimosho area that due cognizance has been taken of their complaints on the on-going major channel construction, stating that it would be addressed as the project progresses.
He said the tour which also had the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr Lekan Shodeinde and his Environmental Services counterpart, Gaji Omobolaji was to ascertain the true state of the canals and drains as well as identifying problems while listening to feedbacks from the residents.
He added that this explains why he and his team walked through the floods at Idumagbo, Ojo Giwa and Oroyinyin and also visited the various alignments of the Akinola Aboru channel while interacting with community leaders in all the areas visited.
The Special Adviser on Environment Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu while speaking said that the Ministry will work in synergy with the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and other relevant parastatals and agencies to ensure that all identified infrastructural deficits are renewed.
Rotimi-Akodu appealed to Lagosians especially market women to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drains and canals saying the effects of their actions portend danger to everyone.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde explained that the expansive 10km Aboru-Akinola canal project is presently at 40 percent completion stage due to some delays being experienced by the contractor as a result of persistent rainfalls.
He added that the project which runs through four Local Government Areas would upon completion save the residents from perennial experience of flooding and attendant loss of properties.
He said the Ojo Giwa and Oroyinyin end of Lagos Island is low lying and lacks natural energy to drive storm water into the Lagoon and this has necessitated a temporary measure to push the water out through pumping from Ilubirin Estate.
He assured residents of Ilubirin and environs that immediately the dry season approaches, the contractor handling the major contract will have the latitude to move faster and the complete the job in good time.