As a preventive measure to mitigate the pressing effect of flood which has claimed many lives and destroyed properties in several locations in Lagos state, the Commissioner for environment on Sunday has ordered owners of properties along drainage channel to vacate or risk being destroyed.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, he expressed that the lawless activities of some people were constantly putting the lives and property of residents at risk.
He listed the areas where properties were erected on drainage channels to include Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Osapa London, Ikota, Lekki, Illubirin, Dolphin Estate, Ogombo among others. He further noted that the massive investment of public fund into drainage clearing and de-silting had been compromised by structures hindering the free-flow of water.
The commissioner further stressed that man-made causes, particularly impediment of free-flow of storm water through the indiscriminate erection of buildings on drainage alignments/ right of way and water courses, have played a major role in the recent experience of flooding in the State.
“Therefore, it is now of paramount importance that owners of buildings or structures impeding the free-flow of storm water, wherever they exist in the State, are advised to voluntarily quit forthwith in the overriding public interest or risk being removed by the State Government as no responsible government will allow the interest of a few to jeopardize the wellness and wellbeing of the generality of its people.
“In view of the grievous consequences of compromising drainage right of way and alignment, Lagosians are hereby warned to henceforth refrain from this illegal act, report perpetrators and cooperate with the Lagos State Government in its bid to achieve a flood-free, clean and livable State,” Adejare added.
The Commissioner also said the State Government has resolved to re-establish the right of way of drainage infrastructure across the State also to stem the tide of flooding.
He emphasized that the decision was imperative so as to channel water into river, lagoon and other mass body of water so as to relieve Lagosians of the incidence of flood.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Lagosians are once again reminded that the right of way for primary unlined (without concrete) channel is 25 meters and 15 meters for primary lined (with concrete) channel, while the right of way for secondary/connector channel is seven meters. The right of way for tertiary channel is three meters from the fence of the house.
“Primary channels such as canals are those emptying directly into the river, lagoons and other water bodies, while secondary/connector channels connect water from channels in the frontage of the house (tertiary channels) to the primary channel,” the Commissioner concluded.