After the devastating floods that wrecked havoc in several parts of the Lagos Island a few weeks ago, the Lagos State Government sunday ordered owners of buildings and structures erected on drainage alignments and channels in Dolphin Estate, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Lekki and Ikoyi, among others to vacate their properties, adding that failure to comply may compel it to remove them.
Although it did not give a specific timeframe for the quit notice it issued to the affected property owners, the state government cited contravention of drainage alignments and subsequent threats such actions posed to lives and properties of other residents as the core reason for the vacation notice.
The directive was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, who said that the lawless activities of some people had constituted a daunting threat to the lives and properties of other residents in some parts of the state.
Consistent with the State Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law and State Physical Planning Permit Regulations, the commissioner said buildings and structures erected on drainage alignments and channels in Illubirin, Dolphin Estate, Osborne Foreshore Estate, Ikoyi, Osapa London, Ikota, Ogombo and Lekki, among others would be affected.
He noted that the decision became imperative to mitigate the incidence of flooding the state has faced in the recent times, saying the massive investment of public funds into drainage clearing and de-silting has been compromised by structures hindering the free-flow of water.
He added that the state government was concerned that man-made causes, particularly the impediment of free-flow of storm water through the indiscriminate erection of buildings on drainage alignments, right of way and water courses, played major roles in the recent flooding in the state.
“It is now of paramount importance that owners of buildings or structures impeding the free-flow of storm water, wherever they exist in the state, are advised to voluntarily quit forthwith in the overriding public interest or risk being removed by the state government,” he said.
Adejare observed that no responsible government would allow the interest of a few people in some parts of the state “to jeopardise the wellness and wellbeing of the generality of its people”.
“In view of the grievous consequences of compromising drainage right of way and alignment, Lagos residents are hereby warned to henceforth refrain from this illegal act, report perpetrators and cooperate with the state government to achieve a flood-free, clean and livable state,” he added.
The commissioner disclosed that the state government has resolved to reestablish the right of way of drainage infrastructure across the state in order to stem flooding.
He said the decision became imperative “to enhance the ability of the drainage channels to effectively discharge storm water into the rivers, lagoon and other water bodies and relieve Lagosians of the incidence of floods.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Lagos residents are once again reminded that the right of way for primary unlined (without concrete) channel is 25 meters and 15 meters for primary lined (with concrete) channel, while the right of way for secondary/connector channel is seven meters. The right of way for a tertiary channel is three meters from the fence of the house.
“Primary channels such as canals are those emptying directly into the river, lagoons and other water bodies, while secondary or connector channels connect water from channels in the frontage of the house (tertiary channels) to the primary channel,” he said.