More than 10,000 residents at risk of cholera, typhoid fever
Govt sold our sewage system to developer — Chairman CDA
By Gabriel Olawale
No fewer than 10,000 residents of the Games Village Estate in Surulere area of Lagos State are currently at risk of a looming disease outbreak as their only source of sewage disposal has been sold to a developer for building construction.
The development, if not properly managed, might, in the long run, compromise the general health of all Lagosians due to likely escalation of infectious diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis, among others.
It will be recalled that in 2004, the Federal Government sold Eric Moore Towers comprising 144 flats to Dock Management and strictly directed to be re-sold to companies in other to be able to maintain the facilities while low rises building which comprises of 340 flats of redbrick, 120 flats of Pilot Close, 144 Flat of Pilot crescent, 50 flats of VIP including annex be sold to sitting tenants.
In 2012, the Federal Government directed that the sewage treatment plant servicing about 10,000 people in the community should be reactivated by Dock Management and other members of the community.
In 2013, the Lagos State government, through the Ministry of Environment, proposed the expansion of the sewage treatment plant to accommodate the whole of Surulere Local Government Area.
While effort is ongoing to ensure the reactivation, it was alleged that a Director from the Ministry of Works informed the community that the sewage treatment site had been sold to a developer who was a former Permanent Secretary in Lagos State.
When Good Health Weekly visited the sewage treatment site, it was under lock and key while construction activities were ongoing. It was observed that two police patrol vehicles from Iponri and Sabo were parked nearby.
When contacted, the Chairman of the Games Village Community Development Association, Mr. Johnson Oguns said that the whole community is against the conversion of the sewage treatment plant to residential building.
“We have a lot of high rise buildings in this estate and anywhere in the whole world high rise buildings don’t dig septic tanks, they treat their sewage and that is the purpose of that treatment plan. “How did they want us to manage our sewage if they sold our treatment site? Some community members have started to channel their sewage into open drainage which definitely has health implications as some children are already falling sick while some are hospitalized as a result of this development.
One of the community leaders, Hon. Moshood Salvador said that the master plan of Surulere reserved the land for sewage treatment of the community and nothing else. “Around 75 percent of my Estate is occupied by expatriates, and nearly all of them are gone. They keep falling sick and their company had to move them to another location.
“How can we develop as a people and country with this kind of treatment? We are capable of managing our sewage treatment plant, the court and government should avoid public unrest and allow peace to reign,” he lamented.
In response, at the site, the Deputy DPO of Iponri Police Station, Ogunlaja I., said that their presence at the site was to ensure law and order.
“I don’t want anything that can comprise law and order. My advice to the aggrieved residence is to approach the court. Let the court decide on this matter and whatever court position is, we are going to respect.”