By Yemi Adeleye
Lagos – The Lagos State of House of Assembly on Tuesday called on the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, to be on his toes to check recurrent flooding in parts of the state.
The call followed a motion by the Chairman, House Committee on Waterfronts Infrastructure, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu and seconded by Mr Segun Olulade, the Chairman, House Committee on Health.
The House also called on Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the ministry and other relevant agencies to remove all unapproved structure in the state.
In his motion, Yishawu said that the government must ensure that all canals and other drainage infrastructure are cleared frequently.
“This House calls on the Ministry of Environment and all relevant agencies to be more proactive in removing all encumbrances to the free flow of water.
“The ministry should create a rescue team and ensure cooperation with local governments as well as collaboration with other ministries to checkmate flood.
“There is a need for proper information dissemination, sensitization of public and monitoring,’’ Yishawu said.
Earlier, Adejare, who appeared before the lawmakers, briefed the lawmakers on measures to curb flooding in the state.
Adejare blamed the massive flood that ravaged some parts of the state on natural and human causes.
“The flood affected places such as Lekki, Victoria Island and Lekki- Epe Expressway. But the water receded within 12 hours. We have been embarking on tree planting to reduce effect of climate change in the state.
“Man-made is caused by people who build houses on drainage. We saw people sandfilling to build houses at Osborne Phase 2. People also build houses by the lagoon against the law,’’ he said.
According to him, the ministry does massive clearing of drainage before, during and after the rainy season.
“It would have been more terrible if the ministry had not been doing what was necessary. We found out that a lot of people are dumping refuse into the Lagoon.
“We will soon start Clearing of Lagos Initiative. We are doing a lot to make sure that this thing is solved,’’ he added.
The commissioner, however, said it would take time before drainage channels are properly cleared, stressing that a lot of advocacy is being done to prevent flooding in the state.
In his contribution, Mr Bisi Yusuff (APC-Alimosho I) said that the ministry had neglected its responsibility and needed to be more proactive.
“The agencies are not doing enough; please, go and demolish all shanties along water paths,’’ he said.
The Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said: “It is essential for the Ministry of the Environment to address the observation of the lawmakers.
“It is important for the commissioner to visit all parts of the state affected by flood last week, not only the VI, Ikoyi and Lekki areas.
“There is a need for the ministry to be more proactive to ensure that people comply with government master plan.
“It should not be after people have erected illegal structure that we now begin to mark them for demolition. There is a need to more monitoring and compliance.
“You (Adejare) need to be on your toes and do more. I wish to commend you after the rainy season. We want you to do the needful to put an end to matter of flooding in the state.’’ (NAN)