The Lagos State Government has ordered owners of properties erected on drainage channels to immediately vacate or risk being removed.
In a statement issued on Sunday by the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, the state government explained that the directive was necessary to mitigate the incidence of flooding across the state.
Dr. Adejare expressed worry that the lawless activities of some people in the state were constantly putting the lives and property of residents at risk.
He listed some of the areas where properties were erected on drainage channels to include Illubirin, Dolphin Estate, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Osapa London, Ikota, Ogombo, Lekki, among others.
He also lamented that the massive investment of public fund into drainage clearing and de-silting had been compromised by structures hindering the free flow of water.
The commissioner stated the government was seriously concerned that human causes, particularly the impediment of the free flow of storm water through the indiscriminate erection of buildings on drainage alignments have played a major role in the recent flooding recorded in the state.
“It is now of paramount importance that owners of buildings or structures impeding the free flow of storm water, wherever they exist in the state, are advised to voluntarily quit forthwith in the overriding public interest or risk being removed by the state government as no responsible government will allow the interest of a few to jeopardise the wellness and well-being of the generality of its people.
“In view of the grievous consequences of compromising drainage right of way and alignment, Lagosians (Lagos residents) are hereby warned to henceforth refrain from this illegal act, report perpetrators and cooperate with the Lagos State government in its bid to achieve a flood-free, clean and livable state,” Adejare said.
He also hinted that the state government has resolved to re-establish the right of way of drainage infrastructure across the state to also stem the tide of flooding.
The commissioner stressed that the decision became necessary to enhance the ability of the drainage channels to effectively discharge storm water into the rivers, lagoon and other water bodies and relieve Lagosians of the incidence of flood.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Lagosians are once again reminded that the right of way for primary unlined (without concrete) channel is 25 metres and 15 metres for the primary lined (with concrete) channel, while the right of way for secondary/connector channel is seven metres. The right of way for the tertiary channel is three meters from the fence of the house.
“Primary channels such as canals are those emptying directly into the river, lagoons and other water bodies, while secondary/connector channels connect water from channels in the frontage of the house (tertiary channels) to the primary channel,” he explained.