Lagos is to clear out shanties on drainage channels before June 19.
The state commissioner for environment and water resources, Tunji Bello, inspected ongoing clearing of drainage on Saturday and directed the ministry’s officials not to compromise.
Drainage has become a hot issue in Lagos, the state has Joe Igbokwe as special adviser on drainage and water resources, and Olalekan Shodeinde as permanent secretary for drainage.
The shanties to be cleared by June 19 are on drainage areas in Ikoyi – Victoria Island, Bourdilon/Oyinkan Abayomi collector drain by Oyinkan Abayomi outfall, Awolowo road/Raymond Njoku/five cowrie by Raymond Njoku road, and Dodan Barraks/Norman Williams/Aunty Ayo/St. Gregory road/Awolowo road.
Other drainage channels visited are Musa Yar’adua, Bourdilon Channel by Dolphin Estate, Ijeh barracks collector drain Adeola Odeku, Akin Olugbade, Sapara Williams, Kofo Abayomi, Ozumba Mbadiwe, by the out fall on Ozumba Mbadiwe, Karimu Kotun and Akin Adeola among others.
Blocked drainage routinely leaves many parts of Lagos flooded in the wake of rainfall.
“The whole of Victoria Island is below the sea level, so automatically when it rains heavily, the water will accumulate and it takes time to drain,” the commissioner said.
“From all indications, we are satisfied with the clearance of drainage channels but for us to remove the silt, we need to remove all the gates mounted at the drainage entrance to protect encroachment and fix it back.
But the ministry of environment is asking illegal occupants to remove their belongings, to allow the ministry remove silt from drainage channels.
“We will continue working with residents’ associations because they are supporting the government with adequate information on indiscriminate trading around the area.
“We will continue the clean-up of illegal structures because we noticed that indiscriminate occupants have returned to the environment, taking advantage of the lockdown.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser on the Drainage Services, Igbokwe said resident engineers from the ministry would always be around to work with the Community Development Association (CDAs) to ensure adequate monitoring after the completion of the clearance of the drainage channels.
Igbokwe said the ministry was working on 46 primary channels and 222 secondary channels, adding that they embarked on monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the level of work done.
He urged residents to leave at least 10 to 15 metres away from the drain areas to enable passage while cleaning the drain.
The Permanent Secretary, Drainage Services of the ministry, Olalekan Shodeinde, called on residents whose buildings were on government’s drainage alignment to be prepared to vacate such buildings as government would not relent in its effort to ensure a flood-free Lagos.