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Lagos launches enforcement to reclaim vital drainage channels

By Ologeh Joseph Chibu

The Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources has launched an enforcement campaign to reclaim the System 1 Drainage Channel in Ojota and Ogudu, targeting new structures encroaching on the vital waterway.

The Commissioner, Tokunbo Wahab revealed the initiative on Monday, stressing the critical role of System 1, established in 1974, in mitigating flood-related challenges across Lagos mainland areas like Ogudu, Ojota, Ifako, Gbagada, and Maryland.

He said “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 highlighted the Ministry’s efforts to engage property owners since 2021, issuing contravention notices to encourage compliance. Despite these efforts, some continued construction within the designated 140-meter Right of Way.

Furthermore 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.”

He emphasized the importance of voluntary compliance and noted ongoing maintenance dredging efforts at Okota, Faseun Bridge System 6E, aimed at improving water flow and preventing flooding.

Last week, the Lagos State government initiated dredging operations in Ikorodu to address flooding threats, focusing on the primary channel in Awobo Estate, reflecting a proactive approach to safeguarding residents and averting potential disasters.

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