By Kingsley Adegboye
Jolted by the near flood disaster that hit Lagos last month, the State Government said last week that it has put in place an all year maintenance programme designed to ensure that all the drainage channels and canals in the State are regularly cleared and desilted.
Environment Commissioner, Mr. Tunji Bello who stated this last week at Shomolu in the mainland part of the city while inspecting the ongoing system two drainage channel which cuts across Shomolu, Lagos Mainland, Bariga, Kosofe and Mushin Local Government Areas of the State to University of Lagos, Akoka, also told Lagosians to prepare for heavy rains after the August break.
Explaining that the inspection was a follow-up to Governor Babtunde Fashola’s visit to some flood affected areas in the State, Mr. Bello said the Ministry of the Environment has set in motion measures to maintain drainage channels. The State has entered into yearly contractual agreement with reputable contractors as well as the ministry’s drainage department and Emergency Flood Abatement Gang, EFAG.
The Commissioner commended the contractor handling the dredging of Bajulaiye canal in Shomolu, Messrs Zapex Construction Limited and urged the firm to expedite action on the cleaning exercise as the rains are likely to come very soon.
Allaying fears of flood disaster at Bajulaiye canal following the progress of work there, he called on the residents of the area to desist from dumping wastes into the canal as the repercussion will be visited on the community. Bello called on Lagos residents and Community Development Associations (CDAs) to join hands with the State Government in the fight to prevent flooding in the state.
“Flood is no respecter of persons. We were all witnesses to the event of July 10th, 2011 and we could also talk about what is happening in Japan and the rest of the world. The Fashola administration is deeply concerned about the state of our environment and the lives and properties of Lagosians. As a result, he will not want a repeat of July 10th rainfall sad occurrences’, he said.
The cleaning exercise according to Mr. Tunji Bello is being replicated in all other five systems in the State while areas like Alimosho, Abule-Egba are also taken care of.
The inspected canal is a section of system two which is a combination of channels across several Local Governments in the area. The Commissioner however noted that the heavy flooding experienced in the area was due to the works going on at the downstream of the canal which necessitated the damming of a section of the canal.