Flood control: Lagos steps up drainage cleaning, reviews strategy

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Effect of climate change
Effect of climate change

The  early rains of year 2012 caught many Lagosians unawares, especially with regards to the havoc that was wreaked through massive flooding and destruction of life and property. It was a development that prompted the  Lagos State government to embark on emergency flooding prevention/reduction measures. It has also followed this up  with routine maintenance of existing drainage channels and construction of new ones, as well as initiating other measures and projects to deal with the menace.

According to officials of the state Ministry of Environment, the measures so adopted are to ensure that the recent ugly experiences are reduced or totally eliminated so that Lagos would have a flood-free rainy season. Among the measures put in place is what the Office of Drainage Services under the ministry describes as an “all year round cleaning and maintenance of drainage channels” across the state.

Effect of climate change The drainage maintenance programme, according to the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, will lead to the de-silting of the major channels in all the 20 local government councils, LGs and 37 local council development areas, LCDAs, of the state.

Giving the highlights of the programme recently, Bello maintained that the de-silting exercise embarked upon by the Office of Drainage Services is paying off, saying that “if the government had not put in place an effective drainage system, many parts of the state would have been consumed by the July 10, 2011 severe flooding that accompanied the torrential downpour”.

And despite the seeming contradictory predictions by different agencies on what the weather condition would be in 2012, the Commissioner aligned with experts’ predictions that this year’s rainfall might be heavier than the previous years, noting that it is necessary to take preventive measures. Presently, municipal waste management has drastically improved, unlike in the past when due to bad public conduct, garbage littered the environment and blocked drainage channels.

As at last week, work had commenced on de-silting of drainage channels in places such as the Adekunle Fajuyi Street, Works Road and Kodesoh Street, in Ikeja. The same applies to Simpson and Sandgrouse streets in Lagos Island.

Lanre Awolokun Street, Somolu; College Road, Ifako; Arowojobe Street, Oshodi; Agric/Oja Road, Ikorodu; Gemini/Coker, Surulere; Adeniji Adele, Lagos Island and Ogunmokun Street in Mushin that are flood- prone have received necessary official attention to prevent flooding this rainy season.

In Agege Local Government area, the Adealu Street collector, Elere channel, Rail line/Agunbiade-Owo channel, Balogun IIawe-Roche channel, POWA shopping complex to Oke-Koto, Abattoir to Oladoje Trapezoidal, Katangoawa/Oko Oba canal and Akilo Road channels have been given utmost attention since January before commencement of the rains.

The people of Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government, Mba/Cardoso Street, Tolu Road, Arakan, Osho Drive, Ogunniyi, Alafia Street are happy about the attention being accorded their drains by the state government. The Tin Can/Coconut collector drains are being given serious attention and the people are elated about this.

For Alimosho Local Government, the drains in Ishefun Road, Potokun, Karimu Laka, Bamisile Road, Jimoh Akinremi, Shasha/Akowonjo Road, Akowonjo/Egbeda, Isheri/Igando Road, Mosan, Command Road and Abaranje collector drains are currently being cleared and monitored just to ensure a flood-free rainy season in that part of the state.

Amuwo Odofin Local Government is not left out as drains in Ijegun Road, 24 Road, Festac Road, Rainbow/Apple Junction/ Festac Link Bridge, Eko Akete, Trade Fair Complex, Road 21, Road 22 and 5th Avenue collector are undergoing serious maintenance.

In Badagry Local Government, the Ministry, apart from clearing the drains, has equally embarked on exercise to de-silt Samuel Ekundayo Itoga, Palace Road, Y- Junction, Wanel Street and Badagry Market Road channels.

The Ministry is constructing drainage channels around Ogba area of the state to curb the menace of flood in that zone of the state among others.

The Environment Commissioner has promised that there would be a comprehensive monthly maintenance and cleaning programme in all the local government councils and the LCDAs “in order to ensure that the incidence of flooding is drastically reduced despite the fact that Lagos is a coastal city”.

He agreed that: “The incidence of flooding is a global phenomenon that is not peculiar to Lagos alone”, but enjoins Lagos residents to cooperate with the state government in its concerted effort to fight flood by properly disposing their wastes in designated areas.

He added that they should “desist from dumping refuse into canals, as well as refrain from erecting structures along drainage channels”. He promised that the Ministry of the Environment will ensure that the drains are clean at all times, while calling on residents to ensure that the drains in their frontages are also clean always.

Bello further highlighted that the government will continue “to embark on adaptive and mitigative efforts to fight the global scourge. We have embarked on pre-rainy season massive cleaning and dredging of canals and drainage channels to prevent flooding as well as embarked on massive enlightenment campaign to sensitise Lagos residents on the need to live in a clean and sustainable environment”.

By Kingsley Adegboye

 

In : Lagos