- For over two days, residents of the Lekki area of Lagos statewitnessed the devastating effect of flooding with properties destroyed
- Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said his government will ensure stiffer implementation of the physical planning law henceforth
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state on Monday, July 10 reacted to the recent devastation witnessed by residents living in Lekki, a highbrow area of the state due to excessive flooding.
The flooding was caused by torrential rainfalls in the state for days causing the destruction of properties while roads and vehicles were enmeshed.
Ambode said his government was coming with plans to curtail such occurrences as it is working towards embarking on holistic solutions to address the situation once and for all.
The governor who spoke at the sensitization workshop on water management and environmental control in the Ikeja, said aside from the fact that the issue of flooding was not peculiar to the state or Nigeria (as it was a global phenomenon), urgent steps are being taken to tackle the challenge and to protect the state from future re-occurrence.
“If we have learnt anything in the on-going flooding of some parts of the state, it is that there is an immediate, even urgent need for us to embark upon a review and reengineering of our canals and drainage systems.
“This must be pursued hand-in-hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of our water management system.
“So, in effect, what we should immediately pursue is a holistic solution to what is certain to be a recurring problem.
“It must be a sincere collaboration between government and the citizenry,” Governor Ambode said.
“The issue is when you are talking about reforms, it comes with pains but it is only the vision that drives it through and that is what we are doing,” he added.
NAIJ.com reports that the governor argued that flooding was a global problem adding that no matter how well a society may be prepared, natural occurrences could not be totally ruled out.
This, according to him, was why Lagos and indeed the country fully subscribes to the tenets of climate change solutions by the United Nations.
“While all the aforementioned examples enjoin us to put our experience and pains into perspective, they also impress on us as a state and a government that we must learn from all these examples in order to better prepare for the future.
“To that extent, we will reinvigorate our campaign against the dumping of refuse by citizens into canals.
“We will be stronger in enforcing our physical planning laws especially those building illegally on canals and blocking the free flow of water across the state,” Governor Ambode vowed.
Concerning the new waste management strategy being adopted by the government encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), Ambode said available statistics show that the state generates 13, 000 tonnes of waste per day which is the highest in the world.
He added that the new approach was aimed at revolutionizing waste management with particular emphasis on reusing waste for other critical purposes and growing the economy, as against the present practice of dumping.
Ambode further said as government would be implementing new strategies to find a lasting solution to the problem of water shortages and flooding.
He added that it was also important for residents to play their part by bearing new attitudes towards civic obligations at all times, without which the efforts of government would be in futility.
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The commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development in the state, Engr Ade Adesanya, noted that the torrential rainfalls witnessed recently accumulated a total of 477mm of water, which was equivalent to the rainfalls experienced in other climes for six months.
He added that the successful management of the situation was commendable, while expressing the determination of the government to mitigate the impact of such in future.
Speaking also, the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Guy Feldman, said his country was delighted to partner with the Lagos state government to bring about lasting solutions to water management and environmental control.
NAIJ.com had earlier reported the flood incidents in Lekki saying most residents in the area did not find the weekend enjoyable as their streets and houses were flooded.
While some areas were closed down due to the flood, some people had no choice than to vacate their homes when the rain would not stop falling.
Watch a video of this Lagos community that needs government's urgent attention: