Lagos State Government over the weekend announced Monday as the commencement date for enforcement operations in Apapa to re-establish the three-metre drainage Right of Way for all its drainage channels.

Speaking with newsmen after an inspection tour to check the level of compliance,  Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab said the enforcement activities are coming after the expiration of notices and convening of stakeholders meetings with property owners to voluntarily move their fences that fall within the drainage setback earlier in the year.

He said the Ministry had served contravention notices to the buildings on the Drainge setbacks, adding that for several years, the Ministry has not been able to access the eight major collectors for maintenance purposes due to encroachment which is a major contributor to flooding issues being experienced in  Apapa.

He said the State Government was determined to find a lasting solution to the flooding issues in Apapa while directing enforcement officers to ensure that all contravening properties are removed from the drainage Right of way by the three metres required by law, assuring that the State will not cherrypick properties during the enforcement process.

“We want to check the state of collectors in Apapa to evacuate and treat the Collectors, the whole of the Collectors in this area are blocked and the right of way taken over by individuals who moved their fences to acquire extra land thereby denying us access to the drains”, he said.

The Commissioner, in the company of the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Kunle Rotimi-Akodu; Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr Mahamood  Adegbite; General Manager, LASEPA, Dr. Tunde Ajayi; Managing Director, LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegeshin and some Directors in the Ministry visited  Pele Wura Collector drain, Abayomi Collector drain, Aerodrome Collector drain, all in the Apapa area of the State.

The Commissioner also inspected Rock Drive in Lekki I following a major complaint that some individuals engaged in the conversion of a purely residential area into a diesel depot directing immediate enforcement, emphasising that the illegal depot poses the risk of a major fire outbreak in the area.

Wahab directed the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to seal up the property while the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) officials demolished and arrested individuals found at the illegal shanties built around the depot and thereafter towed away the diesel trucks and vehicles stationed at the illegal depot.

He also visited Aunty Ayo Collector drain in Ikoyi where he expressed satisfaction with the ongoing cleaning of the drainage channels sounding a note of warning to residents who usually engage in the unwholesome acts of indiscriminate refuse dumping to desist from such acts even as the rainy season is here.

He hinted that following the expiration of relocation notices issued to all squatters occupying illegal shanties around the Lagos Coastal Road in Mayegun, Lekki area of  Lagos, enforcement will commence fully next week.

On his part, the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu said the Government is determined to find a realistic solution to the flooding issue across the State by embarking on all-year-round drainage cleaning measures to control flooding.

He added that it is necessary for residents to also clean the tertiary drains that run across residences regularly while the Ministry has been consistently de-silting and working on various linkages to the secondary and primary channels to enable them to discharge efficiently.

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