Lagos State government may forcefully relocate residents living in flood prone areas and demolish the mostly illegal structures so as to pave way for drainage.
LEADERSHIP findings revealed that the move was to effectively tackle the problem of flooding in the state in the areas which are wetland and said to be illegally inhabited.
Already, the government has served a notice of relocation to communities of Owode, Badiya, Ajilete in Ikosi Isheri Aboru, Iwaya, Arowojobe in Maryland , Ajegunle, Owode Elede and some parts of Eti-Osa.
Speaking on the issue, the Lagos state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said that the ministry gave the directive as a result of persistent flooding in the areas and stressed that structures in these areas lie below sea level.
To avert discomfort, loss of lives and property in the anticipated flood disaster, people residing in areas along lagoons, drainage channels, river courses and wetlands of the state have been advised to vacate their present residence and relocate upland within the next two weeks.
Bello said that the directive became necessary, in view of the fact that the state was still to witness intense rainfall within the next two weeks.
“The coming rains are unusual, while with normal rains they need not relocate. Since March till now, rain fell across the state with no serious flooding incidences recorded, thanks a lot to our efforts. The reality of today is that we are now in the season of unusual rains globally with similar experiences happening in United Kingdom, US, Japan and Bangladesh.
He further explained that the idea of relocation is a global practice peculiar to developed nations of the world in anticipation of expected natural disasters like, hurricane, typhoons, heavy rains etc which is common to countries like United States, Japan, etc, while residents of affected areas relocate back to their original homes when the natural occurrences subside.
“In line with this global practice, Lagosians who reside along low line areas are therefore advised to relocate to upland in order to avoid further discomfort. This is in consonance with our earlier warning in the year,” he added.
The Commissioner however assured that the State Government would not shirk in its social responsibility to the people of the state, but implored that they desist from habits that could lead to flooding like dumping of waste into drainages as well as desist from building along drainage channels.
“Every nation of the world has its peculiar natural challenges. The time has come for us in Lagos to appreciate that we live in a state with high water level and that heavy rains have now become our normal way of life due to climate change,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Residents in the affected areas have said they were not relocating to the upland, and insisted that they would rather lose all they have to the flood if the government could not help them solve their problem.