The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, stated that the ongoing clearing and dredging of all drainage channels across the State will continue till September, 2020.
Speaking with newsmen during an inspection tour of the exercise, the Honourable Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the cleaning and clearing have been designed to ensure that water flows through all the channels unhindered all year round.
Bello, who was accompanied on the tour by the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe; Permanent Secretary, Drainage, Engr. Olalekan Shodeinde and other senior officials, reiterated that the present administration is committed to an enduring solution to the issue of flooding across Lagos.
He added that special attention is being paid to clogged-up channels and drains, which had previously caused flooding in some areas within the State.
The Commissioner explained that the tour became necessary so as to ascertain the true state of canals, drains and channels as well as resolve every problem identified based on complaints by residents in affected areas.
“I will like to appeal to all residents to take good care of these canals and drains as the government is cleaning them. Kindly take ownership and desist from encroaching on canals and drains right of way”, Bello said.
Some of the areas visited by the team included Yaya Abatan drainage channel by Ajobo Street, Iju Road Collector Drain/Alamutu collector (Fagba-Gudugba), Ajuwon River by Iju/Ajuwon bridge, Ilo River Upstream (by Toll Gate, Ifako Ijaiye), Pipeline Collector Drain Idimu, Irepodun Collector Drain Idimu, IPI/Ikotun Channel by Ikotun, Abeokuta Anjorin Channel/ Egbe Stream by Egbe Bridge, Guinness Idi-Mangoro Collector Drain Agege and Oko-Oba Channel.
Bello, however, directed that the Iju Road Collector Drain/Alamutu Collector (Fagba-Gudugba) should be dredged again and that all illegal structures constructed on the alignment be removed.
He explained that the ongoing clearing of Ajuwon River, by Iju/Ajuwon bridge, is necessary so as to linkup with Yaya Abatan Drainage Channel by Ajobo Street for free-flow of water, adding that the sawmill erected on the canal would have to give way.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser on the Drainage Services, Engr. Joe Igbokwe said resident engineers from the Ministry will always be around to work with the Community Development Associations (CDAs) to ensure adequate monitoring after the completion of the clearing and cleaning exercise.
The Permanent Secretary, Drainage Services, in his remarks, called on all residents whose buildings are on drainage alignments to be prepared to vacate such buildings as the government will not relent in its effort to ensure a flood-free Lagos.
The Chairman, Ilo-Awela Community Development Association in Ifako Ijaiye Local Government, Mr. Emmanuel Ajayi expressed great appreciation to the government for the clearing of Ilo River Upstream (by Toll Gate, Ifako Ijaiye), adding that residents have a committee in place to monitor the drains against refuse dumping after completion.
He said since the project commenced, flooding usually experienced in the area by residents has reduced drastically and loss of lives and property is now a thing of the past in the community.