The de-flooding programme of the Lagos State Government which is primarily aimed at ensuring free flow of storm water and reducing the incidence of flood is being intensified.
This was made known during an inspection tour by the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello to on-going drainage projects in the State.
The drainage projects inspected included Elere Drain in Agege running through Odejobi (350.00m long) and Agunbiade/Alfa Nla (1650.00m long) aimed at de-flooding Iju road, Elere Street, Alfa Nla road, Agunbiade road, Odejobi street and Old Abeokuta Express way.
Others in the area are Awori-Moricas Drain (2000.00m long), Adealu Drain (650.00m), Papa Ashafa (1000.00m) aimed at de-floodings Moricas, Awori, Adenle, Alfa Nla, Ipaja streets, Roche, Ifelodun streets, Adealu and Papa Ashafa streets and environs.
Tunji Bello also visited drainage construction sites at the GRA, Ikeja. The collector drains in the area included Oduduwa street drain (1200.00m.00m long), Fanikayode/Sobo Arobiodu drain (650.00m long), Oduduwa Outfall (168.00m long) aimed at de-flooding Oduduwa, Sobo Arobiodu, Fanikayode Streets, Oduduwa Cresent and environs. The drainage construction around the area was to harmonize all collector drains around the area to effectively combat flood.
Mr Bello further explained that the Babatunde Fashola administration is a people- oriented regime that does not discriminate on projects allocation, noting that just as the State Government was executing many projects in high brow areas such as Ikoyi and Apapa GRA, it was also executing in other areas of the State, including Agege, Elere, Juba Alaro, Arigbanla and so on.
He noted that drainage projects all over Lagos were ongoing and were designed to take care of all classes of Lagosians as everyone deserved equal attention of the State Government.
He enjoined the people to verify the drainage level of their areas and obtain invert level of the major roads before constructing their buildings to ensure that their houses are not submerged, warning that “those who build their houses below the drainage level will experience perennial flooding in such houses”.
The Commissioner also implored pressmen to let people understand that what Lagos occasionally experiences is flash flood due to large volume of persistent rainfall, noting that flash flood would disappear shortly after the rainfall as opposed to real flood which would last for days.
He, particularly, educated photo journalists to exercise a little patience while taking shots during the rains, pointing out that it was natural for the roads to contain storm water during rainfall, as also the case in developed nations of the world. He stated that it was only when the storm waters remained on the roads after 24hours that an area could be reported to be flooded.
He urged Lagosians to exercise patience as there were quite a large number of drainage construction works going on in many parts of Lagos which might bring about temporary discomfort, adding that there could be no gain without experiencing some pain.
He assured Lagosians that the State Government was intensifying efforts to curb the menace of flooding around the metropolis, stressing that to achieve success, the people must endure.
Mr. Bello had earlier warned that “the magnitude of Lagos seasonal rainfall prediction for this year is that Lagos will experience heavy rainfall with serious intensity just like last year. Lagos is expected to record 1279mm with marginal error of 50mm”
The Commissioner also remarked that the Ministry had been proactive enough to have come up with forward-looking strategies and work plan which had divided its de-flooding programme into a trimester of pre-rain, mid-rain and post-rain plan.
Mr. Bello enjoined Lagosians to collaborate with the Government by cleaning the drainages in their frontages and desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorized places and carrying out commercial activities on drainage alignments.
He further enjoined Lagosians to report all cases of drainage blockages, dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorized places to Resident Engineers/Drainage maintenance officers whose phone numbers had been published in major Newspapers, adding that “by so doing you are complimenting the State Government’s efforts.”