The Lagos State Government over the weekend gave marching orders for the demolition of all gates and structures constructed across drainage canals and channels in Victoria Island to enable easy access for the evacuation of silts and wastes already excavated from the drains immediately.
Giving the directive while leading a high powered team of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources that included the Special Adviser on Drainages, Engineer Joe Igbokwe and Permanent Secretary, Lekan Shodeinde on an inspection of on-going Drainage projects, the Commissioner, Mr 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.
He warned all those whose illegal shanties on Drainage alignments were demolished early in the year by the Special Committee on Clean Up of IKoyi and Victoria Island but who have capitalized on the outbreak of Corona Virus that has necessitated a suspension of the enforcement that the committee will soon resume its operation and will come after all the owners of such illegal structures with renewed vigour.
He also renewed his call for the removal of shanties around the setbacks of Drainage channels in the area, stressing that 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 explained.
Some of the areas visited are 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).
He expressed displeasure at level of work done at the Sanusi Fafunwa, Adeola Odekun collectors and the Agoro Odiyan canals, ordering that the contractors should revisit the collectors drain and canal to desilt, dredge and evacuate all refuse immediately, adding that squatters and the shanties should not be spared.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainages and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe, said the Ministry is synergising to ensure that resident engineers are always around to work with community development Associations CDA to monitor Drainage clearance projects after completion.
He said that the State was working on 222 secondary and 46 primary Channels presently, maintaining that the Ministry would continue to monitor and evaluate the work done by contractors to ensure that they deliver on the assignments given to them.
According to him “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.