Governance at all levels is everyone’s business. Our country has been derailed for too long that we can no longer continue to pay cursory attention to issues that are critical to our wellbeing and standard of living. Therefore, we must begin to ask questions and contribute our quota in knowledge and action to governance as much as we can.
It was a privilege to have been part of a process of forging a resilient pathway for Lagos State. Between December 2018 and January 2019, over 30 development professionals mainly from academia, civil society and the private sector, were put together into Working Groups by Heinrich Böll Foundation Lagos. The WGs were guided by the findings of an earlier robust research – Urban Planning Processes in Lagos, also by Heinrich Böll and Fabulous Urban.
The WGs which were seven in all were mandated to review existing urban development policies and frameworks of Lagos, along seven critical areas, and make suggestions to the incoming administration of Babatunde Sanwo Olu.
As a member of the Flooding and Wetlands Management Group, all I could think of was, what options were available to the incoming government to achieve quick but lasting wins in flood management in Lagos? How can we make suggestions that if implemented will ensure that Lagos, although a coastal city, will make enviable strides in addressing the flooding challenge that ravages Ijora, Bariga, Isolo, Oworoshonki, Ketu, Banana Island, Lekki, Iyana Ipaja and many other areas of the state?
Among the actions for resilient flood management are the enforcement of the drainage master plan and set-up of a hotline for urgent inquiries and complaints by citizens on flooding issues, just to mention a few. See the reports(s) for other suggestions.
The final discussion papers from the different working groups can be downloaded on https://bit.ly/30pD5mj, but the papers of the each group can also be assessed through the links below:
Flooding and Wetlands Management – https://bit.ly/2WV7pmk
Female Visions for a Greater Lagos – https://bit.ly/2Ed6SoP
Housing Slums and Informal Settlement – https://bit.ly/2HnILWl
Mobility – https://bit.ly/2W4HBqV
Strategic Planning and Urban Mega Projects – https://bit.ly/2W4NrZd
Vision 2030/ 2050/ 2070”: Succession of the Lagos State Development Plan 2012-2025 – https://bit.ly/2VpyVal
Waste Management – https://bit.ly/2WQbisU
It is true that these reports are primarily for the government, we encourage citizens – Lagosians – to digest, critique and contribute to the reports, but most importantly to use these reports as advocacy tools for asking the right questions and constructively critiquing the government from an informed standpoint. This we believe would be the most effective use of the reports and has the potential of yielding the highest dividend – government action.
The reports have been presented to the necessary stakeholders and we hope that the newly elected administration will review and run with these suggestions that are aimed at delivering a Greater Lagos.
By Ebuka Onunaiwu
Onunaiwu is a sustainability professional at Deloitte, who works with businesses and institutions to achieve their corporate and urban sustainability goals; @ebukaeddow