Vanguard (Lagos)

22 January 2013

Nigeria: Fast-Track De-Flooding, Road Projects Before the Rains, Residents Beg Govt

AS the rainy seasons draw near, Lagos residents have begun to express fear over the preparedness of government to curtail the perennial flood challenge confronting the state.

Mr. Nicholas Abraham, a banker, while speaking to Megacity spotlight on his expectation urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to prevail on contractors handling various water channel projects across the state to complete the projects before the rains.

Though, the effect of flooding in Lagos last year was comparatively reduced due to extensive on going drainage channel projects across the state, Mr. Jimoh Ajayi, a businessman, called on the state and local governments to rehabilitate most of the major roads still in disrepair before the rains. He noted that, "with improved drainage system and accessible roads, flooding would be minimized."

However, Governor Fashola during his visit to the Iponri Drainage Canal in Orile Iganmu as part of his on going tour of such facilities across the state to assess the level of preparedness towards the next rainy season, assured residents that adequate measures were being taken to reduce flood in the state this year even as he urged industries in the state to maintain high level of environmental compliance.

Coming barely 24 hours after his extensive tour of on-going projects in Ikorodu Division of the state as part of the statewide inspection of projects, the governor also visited the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Iganmu, proposed site for the Iponri Market Extension and a reclaimed swampy land in Orile along the Lagos - Badagry Expressway where government plans to build a recreation centre for the community.

"Most of the canals that drain Lagos to the Lagoon are earth canals which means they exist naturally. It costs a lot to keep them functional and from being overgrown by vegetation. So, what we are trying to do now is to build a body of concrete lined channels across Lagos. It is going to take awhile, but we have started several years ago and we are building kilometre by kilometre until we complete it", the governor explained.

According to him, the Iponri Drainage Canal begins from Otto Creek taking flood water from Ijora, Iponri, Bode-Thomas and Alakija areas into the Lagoon on the Lagos Island side.

"I have come here just to measure the progress of work and to see how quickly we can complete that before the rainy season. The successful completion of the project would be definitive for how this area will drain during the rainy season".

Fashola said his visit to the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Iganmu, was to assess the level of compliance of the company to environmental regulations expressing satisfaction at the level of compliance of the company.

"One is happy to see that they have complied at the highest level. This is the kind of standard we want other industries to adopt. It comes at a cost but, the cost of doing that is far cheaper than doing it the other way where you discharge chemicals and affluence into the water body", the Governor said adding that the result of such discharge would be that the substance goes down into the underground water.

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