As Lagos tackles improper waste disposal, reviews strategies
Overwhelmed by persistent flooding in its vicinity, Irewolede Community Development Association(CDA) in Olowora Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) has urged the Lagos State Government to complete abandoned drainage project in the area.
The residents lamented the inability of rainwaters to have easy passage due to inactive channels in the location, which have made properties and homes susceptible to flooding.
In a letter jointly signed and addressed to the State’s Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, the CDA Chairman, Alhaji Saubana Adebesin and the Secretary, Femi Ayuba appealed to government to come to their aid in Adegboyeba Street.
The community urged the authorities to construct drainage on the canal that could cut across Accord Heritage and Berry Court estates, which are new developments in the area.
“The canal passage was dredged by the then Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration about eight years ago. The entire community suffers threats of flooding, whenever it rains.”
Adebesin told The Guardian that the new estates close to area has blocked about five drainage channels, which allow rainwater to flow. He lamented that for more than one year, there isn’t any solution in sight to the predicament of the residents. Narrating his experience, a resident of the area, Mr. Emmanuel Obia, said since the beginning of heavy rainfall in June, flood water flows freely through his three bedrooms bungalow situated at Olowora.
According to him, the situation has forced him to abandon the building and his belongings. He said that on daily basis, his family uses pumping machine to send out water from the property, yet, the effort didn’t give a permanent solution.
Obia disclosed that the residents’ association had approached the government, but were told that paucity of funds and CoVID-19 pandemic wouldn’t allow the authorities to attend to their concern.
Reacting, the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adesina said, comprehensive cleaning and dredging is on going in the state, adding that it’s a continuous exercise. He said, “If an area hasn’t been touched, it doesn’t mean they have been left out. Everywhere will be catered for, but it is a gradual process.
“We are enlightening members of the public, especially those who live in low-lying or flood-prone areas to vacate such places.”
Meanwhile, the state government has said, it would not leave anything to chance as far as tackling improper waste challenge is concerned. The State’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, told newsmen recently that the Sanwo-Olu-led administration, which inherited some burden in waste management would do everything possible to rid the state of the menace.
According to him, as a result of the priority state government accorded to a green, clean and aesthetic environment, the administration equally executed programmes designed to engender sustainable environment, which he said are in consonance with ‘Greater Lagos initiative.
While admitting some lapses in recent past, Bello said the state had reorganised the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), adding that, it recently struck a deal with the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA).
“With the support of the Public Sector Participation (PSP) operators, LAWMA has succeeded in cleaning wastes indiscriminately dumped in different parts of the state, an achievement that is also being sustained by ensuring regular carting away of refuse at houses, roadsides and bus stops, thus ensuring a cleaner and healthier metropolis.”
Bello added that marine waste operation was also being enhanced as the state had acquired 10 boats to boost the collection and carting of floating wastes and refuse in collaboration with the Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance (FBRA). He said this has led to the preservation of aquatic flora and fauna in the state in line with the government’s policy direction on constant clean-up of waterways to enhance a cleaner and aesthetic environment.
“LAWMA also introduced the Construction, Demolition and Disaster Waste Management (CDDW) initiative to prevent, minimize, reuse, recycle, recover and dispose waste”, Bello revealed.
The commissioner said the state had embarked on extensive dredging of water channel projects across the state. He added that there were also massive desilting of drains, clearing of culverts with identification of black spots as the state prepares fully for rains. Bello revealed that, critical channels have been worked on, 83 secondary drains maintained by the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG), while 40 primary channels have been approved and awarded out of which 34 channels already executed.
While urging residents of Lagos State to prepare for likely consequences, Bello assured that government would continue to reap the gains of planning, as the flood control measures in the state had been stepped up to contain any unforeseen weather condition.
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