The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), a group of civil society, community based and other non-governmental organizations with the objective of fighting corruption and corrupt persons by any means possible at all levels in Nigeria, has written to Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode intimating him of the inherited flooding Areas which requires urgent attention.
In a letter written by CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran dated 15th October, 2015 stated thus; “We write to acknowledge your government’s demonstrated efforts, since coming on board barely 130 days ago, at addressing various problems confronting the people of Lagos State especially in the area of infrastructural development. Specifically, reports from our monitors so far have portrayed your government as being proactive and sensitive to the plight of the state residents as it applies to roads and environment.”
According to Adeniran his letter he said; “We want to commend you by saying that you have taken off on a promising note and wish and hope that the tempo would be maintained with the state of Lagos becoming the better for it. A good number of times you were reported to have been physically present, either at construction sites or areas or spots that were complained about, such as abandoned road projects or those that were virtually neglected as well as those lacking the necessary basic infrastructural amenities, in order to see things for yourself. To mention just one of those instances, our men in the field confirmed your presence at the Alimosho Local Government Area – the most populated local government area in the state, sometime ago, during which you had a parley with a number of stakeholders including representatives of the construction firms handling various projects in the area. Worthy of note was how you reportedly ordered that the ongoing construction work on Ipaja-Ayobo road, be completed within the next 3 months. Pertinent to mention too, is the fact that the construction work on the road in question, had been on for the past 3 years with no end in sight, causing untold hardship to road users who daily lose productive-hours in traffic jams. Most recently, you were quoted as saying that a sum of19 billion Naira has been earmarked for the construction of 120 roads across the state.
“Whilst it’s not in our character to play the sycophant for anyone, we do not hold back in acknowledging and commending good works and so would want you to know that your administration’s commendable activities in some other equally important areas did go unnoticed. Precisely, we are aware that your government was able to commit a huge sum of N11billion to settling the inherited 4-year backlog of pensions and gratuities to pensioners and that you have embarked on fixing the debilitating ACME-WEMCO road by Chemiron junction that has been begging for attention for over eight years. We are equally not lost on the provision of new ambulances for the state’s general hospital, ambulances, vehicles and motorbikes, to facilitate the functions of the state’s Emergency Services and the Rapid Response Squard. Also appreciated is the repositioning of the state’s civil service for greater efficiency, with the appointment of new permanent secretaries and directors,”
Also worthy of note is the new life, so to say, that have, of recent, been injected into the LASTMA, resulting in the notable improvement in its efficiency, as traffic laws are enforced with a renewed sense of commitment, making hitherto ruthless and reckless motorists become more conscious of the essence of decency and respect for traffic laws on our roads; a development that had translated into a sharp reduction in avoidable traffic jams and road crashes.
“Your Excellency, whilst hoping that the spirit of industry with which you have taken off will remain alive, we urge you to give equal attention to other begging areas like dilapidated buildings and inadequate and substandard furniture and equipment in the various state-owned educational and health institutions.
Now that the rains are here and flooding becomes inevitable, we call on your government to do everything within its capability to tackle the problem proactively, taking cognizance of its destructive hazard to life and property. Recent declaration in the dailies that the Lagos State Government has warned residents of the state to prepare against flooding, resulting from heavy rainfall, starting from the month of October 2015. The statement quoted Mr Oluwatoyin Awosika, the Director, Public Enlightenment, Lagos State Ministry of Information, as assuring residents that the state has spent huge resources to make refuse collection cheap and affordable, adding that measures were already in place to relocate residents in case of flood disaster.”
Writing further he said, Flooding in Lagos is nothing new; it has always been a recurring decimal in the life of its residents during raining seasons. Sometimes it may be a flash flood and at other times, the flood may be severe. The truth is that any time it rains; the metropolis is always in trouble. While movement has been the herculean task for the commuters, residents are always at the receiving end. From the highbrow Lekki to IKoyi, to Victoria Island and the rest, residents in the downtown communities are the greatest victims.
“Floods paralyze economic activities in the state. Major roads and even some linking roads are flooded causing hardship to motorists. When these roads were constructed, the companies that did the construction probably did not anticipate the problem. It has not only left several people homeless, destroyed properties and disrupted business activities, the floods ravaging communities in the state are also threatening to expose residents to an impending epidemic of cholera, diarrhea, malaria, skin infections and other water-borne diseases. It has also resulted in the destruction of infrastructures such as bridge, road, houses etc. (Please see the attached images of recent flooding in some parts of Lagos State)
Lagos State by virtue of its low lying character, effective solution to this problem, we believe, largely lies in the creation and regular maintenance of adequate drainage channels, with additional measures to control flood tides. Secondly, there is the need to develop a storm water drainage master plan for the entire Lagos; a regulatory framework for wetlands management, in order to track and regulate land use pattern of Lagos wetlands, to prevent erosion, storm water drainage channel blockages, encroachments and contraventions, needs to be put in place,” Adeniran said.
“We would want your administration to look into the direction of those who are saddled with the oversight function over drainage and continual drainage, to take their job more seriously and always ensure that there is free flow of water at all times. Building and development of infrastructure designed for the prevention or limiting of floods as part of the ways to protect the population should enjoy some priority. Flooding, we dare say, is not supposed to be a perpetual thing the way your predecessor had always wanted Lagosians to accept it as normal. It certainly cannot be normal for flood to continue to wreck constant havoc on the people year-in, year-out; a lasting solution must be devised. And if forecast by meteorologists and other weather experts is anything to go by, the state is undoubtedly in for a hard time in the remaining part of 2015 and the early part of 2016.
We therefore appeal to your government to quickly embark on project that will reduce if not totally fix the issue of flooding in the state as this would alleviate the hardship pain and loss that the majority of the people of Lagos experience during raining seasons. The environment remains our most valued possession and legacy which we must all strive to protect.
Meanwhile, we would like to humbly inform you that our coalition is compiling its data on the state of infrastructural development or lack of it in Lagos State. We shall, as the need arises, be making our findings available to you with a view to encouraging you to pay better attention to areas of inadequacies, if any.”