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Flooding: Lagos property owners build on drainage channels despite govt notices

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The Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, in its effort to tackle flooding in the state, has commenced an enforcement initiative aimed at reclaiming a vital drainage channel known as the System 1 Drainage Channel midstream in Ojota and Ogudu.

The Ministry’s commissioner, Tokunbo Wahab, who tweets as tokunbo_wahab on X.com disclosed this in a post on Monday.

He stated that an inspection on Sunday revealed that property owners were building new structures within the designated areas.

Wahab stated that System 1, established in 1974, stands as the largest primary channel responsible for alleviating flood-related challenges in major parts of Lagos mainland, including Ogudu, Ojota, Ifako, Gbagada, and Maryland.

He wrote, “Yesterday, I led the management on an inspection tour to the enforcement sites of the ongoing reclamation of 140 meters Right of Way for System 1 Drainage Channel midstream (Odo Iya Alaro) Ojota and Ogudu to ascertain the level of compliance by property owners and the extent of work.

“This drainage channel, which is very important to Lagos State, will address major flooding issues on the mainland and its environs.”

Wahab stated that contravention notices had been served to property owners in the area since 2021 to encourage voluntary compliance; however, some disregarded the notices and continued construction within the designated area.

He added, “The state had been having discussions with property owners/residents since 2021, and the conversation ended in November 2023.

“Contravention notices have been served to owners of buildings lying within 140 metres of System 1 since 2021, but we found out that people have gone back to encroaching on the right of way and alignments.

“The property owners whose buildings fall within the approved 140 meters Right of Way of the channel had been given the option of voluntary compliance for almost three years. Some of the property owners continued with the construction of new buildings that surfaced in the areas now.”

Wahab also disclosed that the Ministry is set to commence major maintenance dredging at Okota, Faseun Bridge System 6E, located off Ago Palace Way.

This dredging aims to improve water flow and remove waste that accumulates under the bridge, contributing to flooding.

PUNCH reported last week that in response to flooding threats, the Lagos State government commenced a dredging operation in the Ikorodu area, targeting the primary channel in Awobo Estate.

The initiative was reported to be a significant step towards averting potential disasters and ensuring the safety of residents in the region.

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