Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Lagos State made this known in a statement issued Sunday evening on behalf of Tunji Bello, the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources.
Akosile said the decision to go after residents who dump refuse indiscriminately into drainage channels and canals followed a video trending on social media showing refuse dump overtaking Akobi Crescent Surulere area of Lagos after an heavy rainfall.
He attributed the refuse on Akobi Crescent in Surulere after the recent rainfall to ongoing dredging work in the area, stressing that the convergence was due to dredging of system in some parts of the state.
The Governor’s spokesperson quoted the Commissioner as blaming the blockage at Akobi Crescent end on the nonchalant attitude of residents but gave an assurance that procedures have been put in place to facilitate the speedy completion of the dredging and clearing from LUTH in Idi-Araba by the contractor.
” The system 6c is from Cele to Agege Motor Road, through Idi-Araba and Akobi Crescent. Excavation and removal of dirt from the canal are being done simultaneously,” Bello stated in the statement.
“However, it should be pointed out that the canal had been completely blocked and solidified over time with age-old refuse dumped in the channel.”
The Commissioner explained that, as soon as it was realised that the refuse was swept to the area by the rain, the Ministry directed appropriate agencies to clear it immediately while imploring residents to desist from dumping refuse in the canals and drainage channels.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the Idi-Araba section which had been cleared was again littered by the residents, recalling that upon assumption of office, the present administration tackled the several years of decay by confronting the issue of blocked drainage channels, through dredging and clearance.
Bello said that the time has come for residents of the areas, through which channels run, to take up ownership of such infrastructure by preventing and apprehending people who dump refuse in them.
He added that negligence and recalcitrance lead to wastage of scarce state resources that should be deployed to other infrastructure renewal projects.