By Grace Alegba and Balikis Quadri
Lagos – Mr Rufus Onimisi, the South West II Zonal Coordinator of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), on Tuesday said that there was the need for effective refuse collection system to curb highway flooding in Lagos State.
Onimisi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that some residents of Lagos used open manholes, gutters and other drainage channels as refuse dumps thereby clogging weep holes and other road drainage networks.
He explained that the resultant effect of indiscriminate refuse disposal had blocked drainage channels.
He said that the actions had compounded flooding of highways in Lagos being a coastal city, and on low land.
Onimisi said that some residents were aware of the implications of their actions but still stuffed drains because of the pressures of huge waste usually generated.
He said it was only an effective refuse collection mechanism that could be applied to curb drains’ stuffing that used to cause flooding resulting in quick road degeneration.
He, however, commended the efforts of the Lagos State Government in refuse management and called for more effective collection system.
“The problem of flooding of our highways usually caused by blocked drains can be checked if there is an adequate and effective refuse collection mechanism.
“Waste management should be holistic from point of generation to final disposal,’’ he said.
Onimisi said FERMA out of its limited resources, had been cleaning weep holes and other highway drainage channels across the state.
Onimisi speaking on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, told NAN that the section between Igboelerin and Agbara being handled by FERMA was achieving rapid repair works.
He explained that the gullies which hitherto dot the various sections of the highway including the median, were being stabilised with various construction materials.
He said that milling of asphalt and replacing it with sub base materials were ongoing at various sections, adding that “within the next one month, final lying of asphalt will reach various portions’’.
Onimisi decried the high vehicular volume and the reckless driving on the axis which he said were affecting the pace of work on site.
He appealed to road users to obey traffic rules and maintain lane discipline around the construction zones.
“Road users should drive slowly around construction zones, observe lane discipline, and obey all traffic signs and controllers,’’ he said.
Speaking on vegetation control, Onimisi said FERMA in the first quarter of 2019 had cut down trees and shrubs along the Ikorodu-Itoiki Road in Lagos State to improve visibility.
He said the agency would soon embark on the annual exercise nationwide cutting trees and shrubs to reduce crimes, criminality and accidents due to poor visibility on highways.
“We do our vegetation control usually after the rainy season so that we take care of everything at once. It can be done through direct labour or contract,’’ he told NAN.