Residents of Lagos state have called on the Lagos State Governor Mr. Babatunde Fashola to give priority attention to the construction of drainage channels in the state to control flood threatening lives and properties in their areas.
The residents who spoke when Lagos State Government officials stormed Agbado-Okeodo Local Development Council Area for the September exercise lamented that their houses were at the verge of collapse as a result flooding.
The residents also called on the Lagos State Government to as matter of urgency help in constructing the link bridge that collapsed five months ago at Ile-Kpako that cut off two adjoining communities between Lagos and Ogun State.
Speaking on behalf of the residents, Alhaji Kamorudeen Bamidele who is the Chairman Committee on canal dredging of Residents of Alabede, Aboru said the dredging of Aboru canal has been abandoned by the contractor handling the project, thereby worsening flooding problem in the locality. To compliment the state government efforts, he said the residents have raised the sum of N3, million to support the dredging confluence paths simultaneously from community entry points at Abeokuta expressway.
“ The initial dredging which took place when the project took off in February 2012 has been dwarfed by the resultant blockage as a result of gradual sand deposit which eventually decreased the depth between the bed and bank along the canal path thereby worsening the flooding bank flow”.
He appealed to the governor to hasten the re-dredging and concrete lining of the canal to save the communities from the perennial problem of flooding.Responding to issues raised by the residents, the Lagos State Commissioner For Environment Mr. Tunji Bello blamed the problem of flooding in the area on haphazard development of houses, saying the state government has gone back to the drawing board to see how it can solve the problem without inflicting pains on the residents.
”In the Agbado Oke-Odo area, all the lands were allocated by private landowners. When that part of the state was developing, there wasn’t a proper planning. It is now that we have been able to capture the entire area.For that area, they built indiscriminately. Some of the residents erected their building along the flood plain. The buildings have been erected over time without government intervention. It is now that the present administration and ministry is working to ensure that the state has proper planning.
“We cannot start demolishing house indiscriminately. What we do as government is to check what amendment can be done to ensure that even if there would be need for demolition, some property can still be saved. And it isn’t possible to demolish several houses without providing the required alternative”. The commissioner added that where the government needs to demolish, it will not shy away from it, noting that the government consider the people first before the demolition.
He said the state government would move into Ile-Kpako and construct the bridge to make the road passable but that the construction will start in 2014.