Saturday, July 13, 2024

Flood: Lagos govt. demolishes illegal structures in Okota

Some street gates, house fences, and a security post were allegedly built on drainage channels and canals.

• June 14, 2024
Demolition [Credit: NAN]

The Lagos state government has demolished some street gates, security post and fences of houses constructed on drainage channels and canals in Okota area of the state.

The operation was carried out on Friday by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) and ministry for environment, led by Corps Marshall, Maj. Olaniyi Cole rtd.

The operation was carried out at Liberty, Paris, Victory and Hosanna Goodness Estates, all located in Okota area.

Some street gates, house fences, and a security post were allegedly built on drainage channels and canals.

It was also observed that a security post’s toilet was constructed on drainage, as well as many illegal structures, including Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) houses with their shrines built close to a major canal in the area.

Mr Cole said that some residents of the estates petitioned the commissioner for environment on the incessant flooding they always faced once it rained  due to the blockage of the canals and drainages by the illegal structures.

Mr Cole said they were given the order to pull down all illegal structures, stressing that the affected estates and houses were given 48 hours to remove the structures.

He said that for every land approved by the government, the construction of the fence must have 10 metres distance to/from the canal and drainage.

Adekoya Adedeji, from the Drainage Office, Lagos state ministry for environment, linked the flooding situation in many parts of the state to human activities.

Mr Adedeji said for the operation on Friday, some people deliberately blocked the waterways by building fences, shanties and houses on the way.

“People must have an understanding that all that government is doing is for the interest of all.

“As a government, we will not rest on our effort to ensure that all illegal structures on canals, drainages and other public ways responsible for flooding are cleared for a flood-free Lagos,” he said.

Some residents of the estates who spoke with journalists commended the government for the bold step to clear the illegal structures.

Austin Odinaka, a resident, said the street gate constructed around his street always caused flooding, causing them to take longer journeys out of the estate.

Another resident, simply identified as Sunny, said they tried to intervene when they were constructing some street gates, but they were ignored by the initiators of the construction.

Mr Sunny, however, blamed some Lagos state government officials and traditional ruler of the area, who collected money and allowed the illegal structures to be constructed.

A victim, whose illegal structure was marked for demolition along the canal, Nancy Okafor, said she purchased the land from one Odo Chibuzor, at the sum of N536,000, with receipt given to the corps marshall as evidence.


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