The Lagos State government has warned again that there will be more rains after the August break as it announced at the beginning of the year.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, stated this during an inspection of the cleaning exercise of System Two channel consisting of Bajulaiye-Shomolu Canal.
He said there was the need for Lagos residents to brace up and embrace proper sanitary measures aimed at minimizing flood.
He, however, assured Lagos residents that the government is prepared to contain subsequent flood incidence.
In order to avert another tragedy like massive flooding in several parts of the Lagos metropolis, the government has begun massive clearing of drainage channels across the state.
He said, “We have works going on all around the state. We are monitoring their progress. The Bajulaiye section of System Two is part of government’s efforts to address flood incidence in the state,” he said.
The inspected canal is a section of System Two, which is a combination of channels, across several local governments in the area.
The commissioner, however, noted that the heavy flooding experienced in the area was due to the works going on at the downstream of the canal, which necessitated the damming of a section of the canal. “It is necessary to block a section of the canal to slab it,” he stated.
The System 2, which has a top width of 27metres, bottom width of 17metres is 10kilometres long. It will serve Lagos Mainland, Bariga, Shomolu, Kosofe, among others.
Bello stated that the inspection was a follow-up to Governor Babatunde Fashola’s tour after the July 13 rain. He attributed the major cause of flooding to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in canals and channels.
He lamented that despite the government’s efforts at improving waste disposal in the state, residents still dump refuse in drainage channels.
While the canal was in a deplorable state before work started, Bello recalled that the canal has been dredged by the government in the past.
He attributed the deplorable state to people’s attitude, urging them to be partners to complement the state government’s efforts in ensuring a flood-free Lagos.
Bello warned that flood is not about the environment alone, “ flood affects life. It’s not just about the environment, it’s about people’s health; water must find its level and when it does, it respects no one. The Ministry of the Environment will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to sensitize the public on the dangers inherent in indiscriminate dumping of refuse,” he explained.
According to the commissioner, there are over six systems in Lagos, with each discharging water into the Lagoon. A system is made up of 10 channels and these cut across several local government areas.
The commissioner lamented that the last heavy rain led to loss of lives and property and that government wanted to prevent this at all costs while appealing to residents not to empty their refuse into drainage channels again.
Chairman, Shomolu Local Government, Hon. Gbolahan Bagostowe, said his team will co-operate with the government to ensure that the objectives of the state are implemented.
He added that his team have been sensitising the people not to dump refuse into drainage channels.