Environmentalist stresses importance of clearing drainage system, canals in Lagos

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An environmentalist, Mr John Ekoko, on Monday stressed the need for the Lagos State Government to continue clearing the state’s canals and drainage system.

Ekoko, a former Chairman of the Nigerian Environmental Society, Lagos Island Chapter (NESLIC), gave the advice in an interview with  Newsmen in Lagos.

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He said that extra-care should be taken on the drainage system and canals in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, the Lekki Peninsula and Ajah areas.

“The flooding of July 7 has come and gone. We are grateful to God that the rain stopped and there has been some sunshine for some time now.

“The sunshine does not mean that there will not be torrential rainfall again. We are at the heart of the rainy season and with the negative effects of Climate Change globally, it is certainly not a time to relax.

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“There is need to continue to open up the drainage system and canals and insisting on the removal of structures blocking the drainage right-of-way, to avert a repeat flooding experience.

“There should be no sentiment about this at all,’’ he said.

Ekoko said that once cleared, the silt and debris from the canals and drainage system should be removed immediately, to avoid it going back into the drains.

The former NESLIC chairman said that the state government should go back to the Land Use Plan and ensure that the rules governing the flood prone areas are maintained.

“Those living in flood prone areas are blocking the natural drainage channels, without construction of the type of drainage system that would withstand heavy downpour,’’ he said.

Ekoko said that while taking care of the human angle that caused flooding, care should also be taken to work on the things that would continue to reduce the effect of Climate Change.

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He said that more trees should be planted to absorb the carbon caused by lots of pollutants in the atmosphere, to reduce the effects of global warming.

Persistent rainfall in the Lagos area about two weeks ago, caused flooding in parts of Ikoyi, Victoria Island, the Lekki Peninsula and Ajah, compelling the Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) to disconnect public electricity to the affected areas.

The Police also announced the closure of some roads in the metropolis, including the Ahmadu Bello Way, in Victoria Island, saying that it had become a danger to motorists.

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