By Olasunkanmi Akoni
With flood threats and resurgence of heaps of refuse across Lagos metropolis which has created an eyesore to passers-by and posing health hazard to residents, the state government weekend announced measures to tackle the menace.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan and Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI, Adebola Shabi, provided some explanations on the issues.
According to Bamigbetan, the government had already commenced the maintenance of all primary, secondary and tertiary drainage channels under the CLI.
“Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration is mindful of the terrain and geographical location of Lagos State being very close to the coast which makes it relatively prone to flooding and as such, has come up with the global best practices through the engagement of reputable and competent contractors for all year maintenance of all primary, secondary and tertiary drainage channels in the five divisions of the state.”
He listed the areas undergoing dredging and cleaning to include: Adetokunbo Ademola collector drain; 1004 collector drain – 1004 – Bishop Aboyade Cole to IGI; Idejo collector drain – Idejo – Adeola Odeku to Ozumba Mbadiwe; Billy collector drain, Epe; Beecroft/Simpson collector drain Lagos Island; Jankara/Adeniji Adele/Dolphin Estate Channel, Lagos Island; Ashimowu/Bakere Channel, Mushin; Ladipo Trape Zoidal channel, Mushin; Kehinde/Eta-Oko collector drain, Satellite Town, Amuwo-Odofin and dredging of Ketu-Alapere channel.
Others, according to the Commissioner, are: dredging of 3.50km long Ketu-Alapere Drainage Channel, Kosofe LGA; 2.07km long Lakowe Drainage Channel, Lakowe, Ibeju Lekki; NTA 7 Tejuosho/Alaka Channel, Surulere; Osapa/Maiyegun Channel, Eti-Osa; Abeokuta/Egbe/Idimu Channel, Alimosho LGA; Ogombo Channel, Eti-Osa; Aguda/Coker Channel, Surulere and 615m long Kokoro Abu/Adeniran Ogunsanya Drainage Channel, Sabo, Ikorodu.
He also listed areas being cleaned up under the exercise to include: Akibo Savage Collector Drain, Victoria Island; Church Gate Collector Drain, Victoria Island; Agoro Odiyan Collector Drain Victoria Island; Old Ewu Road Collector Drain, Oshodi Isolo; 5.00km long Ladipo Collector Drain, Fatai Atere, Mushin LGA; 1.98km long Alafia Collector Drain, Ajeromi Ifelodun LGA and 2.30km long 21 Road Collector Drain, Festac, Amuwo Odofin LGA.
“In addition, the Lagos State Public Works has also commenced the cleaning/clearing of some road drains and inlets capable of causing traffic during the heavy downpour such as the inlets along Odo-Iya Alaro bridge,” he said.
However, Shabi, speaking with Vanguard on the heaps of refuse during an interview, said: “Let’s correct the notion here that Visionscape has failed in proper management of waste in Lagos because the issue is: What is the yardstick we used to measure failure of Visionscape?
“Talking about refuse, Olusosun dumpsite in Ketu.. you know Olusosun is the major point where Waste Collector Operators, WCOs, dump their waste and since we shut it down, the operators take the waste to Ewu-Elepe in Ikorodu or Epe. Now, the distance is one of the critical things here because of turn-around time.
“That’s one of the factors militating against effective management of waste. However, the state government is working on a strategy now to reduce the impact and the strategy is to create more Transfer Loading Stations,TLSs, in the state, so that it will ease turn-around time.
“Also, it will not cost them much to travel far distance for dumping waste. So, we are working on this right now to ensure the cost of doing business in waste management is reduced for operators. Secondly, people have this habit of dumping refuse in drainage channels and on the road during the rainy season thinking that it will be washed away by the rains.”