Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Saturday declared zero tolerance for indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainages.
Sanwo-Olu made the declaration while addressing newsmen at the ongoing four-day 2023 Onboarding Retreat Programme for Members of the State Executive Council, the Body of Permanent Secretaries and Heads of some Agencies and Parastatals, held in Epe.
He said the government would not take the issue of dumping of refuse lightly, as such contributed to flooding in the state.
The governor expressed concerns on houses being submerged during the rains, while urging residents to prepare for the rains.
According to him, residents have earlier been informed of late and heavy rains, hence, should be prepared and change their lifestyle of dumping refuse in drainages.
”We all knew too well and notices have been given of late rains, heavy rains and it is that time of the year where we cannot control nature, it will rain, so we can’t do anything about rain falling, especially at this time.
”You have seen it in all parts of the world, it rains, it floods, we are not immuned to it, we actually are below the sea level, one-third of Lagos is water, and so, that water will come and it will be heavy during the rainy season.
”So that is nature and we need to be able to live with that and understand that we are in a coastal state.
”Beyond that is to talk about our ways of life, which is to talk about drainages. That is a concern for all of us,” he said.
Speaking on the issue of flooding and failed portions of the road in Ikotun and Igando areas of Alimosho Local Government Area and other parts of Lagos state, Sanwo-Olu assured residents of prompt intervention.
He also sought media support for his administration to tackle the issue of flood in the state.
”Part of our take away from the retreat is the level of zero tolerance that we are taking out of here. The Commissioners, Special Advisers and Permanent Secretaries have all been empowered to go out there and do the right thing.
”When we begin to do all these difficult things, we are hoping that you (the media) will be able to give us fair reportage to know that we are not just being insensitive, wicked, we just want to do our job and do it well.
”So, when we see a building or property that is blocking drainage channels and we say we are going to pull it down, we are hoping that you will be on our side and be able to report to say that this has to go.
”That is the only way people can live in a sane, safe and secured society,” the governor said.
Downpour: Tragedy as flood sweeps motorcycle rider into Lagos canal
Meanwhile, tragedy struck in the Ile-Epo area of Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos on Saturday as a motorcycle rider was swept into a canal by flood resulting from a morning downpour,
Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, Territorial Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), disclosed this in an interview.
Farinloye said that the rider, simply called Mr Abe, was swept off after refusing to heed to warnings from his colleagues not to ride during the rain, close to the Ile Epo Bus-stop canals in the area.
He said that the incident happened around 10.30a.m. and the victim had yet to be recovered as of the time he was speaking.
Meanwhile, the rainfall, which started early in the day and lasted for hours, also led to flood affecting residents in Papa Ashafa and Fashola communities, in Orile-Agege Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
Farinloye said that some people displaced were taking refuge in four churches in the area.
“Some vulnerable groups have moved to temporary safe facilities, while the adults are salvaging their water-impacted properties.
“NEMA is assisting the owner of a building where the fence collapsed,” he said.
He said that there was the need to salvage the building by reconstructing the fence to solidify the base, to prevent it from collapsing on a nearby bungalow.
Farinloye said that the Director-General, of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Ahmed, had directed the immediate release of relief materials to the affected flood victims in Lagos.
“Children wears, women wears, mattresses, antiseptics and other immediate assistance to the impacted population at Orile-Agege Local Government Area to provide immediate succour to about 200 people this afternoon are being loaded currently, ” Farinloye said.
He appealed to Lagos residents to take utmost precautions during such heavy rainfall.
Farinloye said that NEMA and other emergency agencies were on assessment exercise at some flash points, and discussed with affected populations, proffering immediate solutions in handling such situations.
Meanwhile, a resident, Mr Ibrahim Mufta, told NAN that the area was in terrible condition, while calling both Federal and Lagos State governments to come to their aid.