The Lagos State Government has ordered the immediate dismantling of all gates constructed across drainage canals and channels in Victoria Island to enable easy access for the evacuation of silts and wastes from the drains.
The Honourable Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, who gave the directive during an inspection tour of on-going drainage projects in the axis, said that although the gates were erected by residents to prevent encroachment, they are hindering the immediate evacuation of refuse and silts but would be fixed after the exercise.
He reiterated that the activities of the Special Committee on the Clean-Up of Ikoyi and Victoria Island, which had been suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic, are to resume soon and will come after all the owners of illegal structures with renewed vigour.
He also restated 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.
He expressed displeasure at the level of work done at Sanusi Fafunwa, Adeola Odeku collectors and the Agoro Odiyan canals, ordering the contractors to 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 Drainage 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 is currently working on 222 Secondary and 46 Primary Channels, 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.
“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 property, if not properly managed”, Igbokwe said.
He decried the infringement on setbacks around drainage channels which have been slowing down the removal and evacuation of silts and urged residents to set aside at least 10 to 15 metres of setback from drainage channels to enable unhindered access to canals always.
Some of the areas visited by the Commissioner led team included Oju Olobun/Olaogun Agbaje/Adeola Odeku/Kofo Abayomi/Ozumba Mbadiwe by outfall on Ozumba Mbadiwe, Saka Jojo/ Danmole and Olubosi Close/ Kasunmu Ekemode/Akin Adesola/Karimu Kotun/Adetokunboh Ademola Collector (By Karimu Kotun/Akin Adesola).