The Lagos State Government on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, called on experts in the drainage sector to develop a secondary drainage masterplan for selected local governments.
The government said the masterplan would help to reduce the challenge of flooding in the state.
Speaking at the forum, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, said the state was keen to develop an implementation strategy to reduce flooding.
Wahab emphasised that government and residents must collectively ensure that flood risks were managed in a sustainable, equitable and effective manner.
He said the gathering was a testament to the commitment of the present administration to give residents an input into government plans.
Wahab recalled that the first case of major flooding was recorded in 2012/2013, noting that the government at that time was frontal in its approach.
He added that there had been improvements in the drainage system over the years.
“We will not rest on our oars, we shall continue to engage in all year round cleaning and infrastructural development to ensure that Lagos is free of flooding,” he said.
The commissioner said the world was experiencing global warming which was bringing about situations where countries with the best infrastructure in the recent times had been experiencing flooding.
Also speaking, Gov Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s Special Adviser on Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, said the ministry had started the journey to find a lasting solution to the menace of flooding.
Rotimi-Akiodu said the meeting would create avenues on how better synergy would be created between the state and local governments, ministerial departments and communities.
“If anyone in your area builds on drainages, right of way or set back, please get a video and send to the ministry so that the culprit can be prosecuted; I promise that such a person will be compensated and the culprit sanctioned,” Rotimi-Akiodu said.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr Olalekan Shodeinde, noted that the first master plan was in the 1970s.
Shodeine explained that this had become the guide for interventions in storm water management sector, adding that water if not managed properly, could become a menace.
He said the first master plan gave birth to another master plan in 2015 majorly for primary channels which were naturally existing canals.
Shodeinde said there was the need to have a masterplan for the secondary collector drains.
He said that the Priority One project would cover Ikorodu, Kosofe, Eti-osa, Shomolu and Ibeju Lekki, believed to be the most flood prone local government areas in the state.
He added that p the Priority Two project would cover Ajeromi, Ifelodun , Òjò, Amuwo Odofin and Alimosho Local Government Areas.
In his presentation, the Lead Consultant from Pheman Peniel Consultants Ltd., Dr Emmanuel Adeyemo, said the essence of the intervention was to reduce flooding and to manage flood risk in a sustainable manner.
Adeyemo said the intervention would also help the office of Drainage Services to manage the future of drainage developmental and flood mitigation activities.
He reiterated that the masterplan was a 40-year developmental plan from 2025 to 2065 where problematic areas have been identified, especially the low lying area conditions as well as negative impact of flooding to minimise health issues.
The Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon Lanre Afinni and Permanent Secretary, Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen were also present at the forum.
Other dignitaries who participated at the workshop included former permanent secretaries, local government chairmen, experts in building and engineering sectors and stakeholders in the environment ecosystem.
By Fabian Ekeruche