The Lagos State Government on Wednesday tasked all Local Government Councils to do more to ensure the maintenance and cleanliness of all tertiary drains in their domain.
The task was given by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, while addressing participants at a stakeholders meeting on maintenance of tertiary drains at the LCCI Conference Centre, Alausa.
Bello told the gathering that included some local government chairmen that maintenance of tertiary drains could also be used to generate employment.
He stated that it was about being creative, adding that some unemployed youths in the localities can be engaged to clear the drains and also maintain it at a cost that would not be prohibitive.
He frowned at the present situation where the state is still being forced to maintain tertiary drains in addition to the primary and secondary drains.
Bello added that environmental health officers at the Local Government level must be also be sensitised, while their number is increased to effectively monitor the compliance level of residents in terms of cleaning of tertiary drains.
He said the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang has been responsible for cleaning several tertiary drains and black spots round the state, adding that they function as the quick response arm of the state Government and have in freeing several clogged up drains from waste and silts.
He revealed that on a weekly basis, the EFAG team works on about 6,547 meters of tertiary drain channels round the state and had cleaned up tertiary drains measuring about 307.7km across the state since it was reintroduced in October 2019.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainages and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe, commended the initiative for the meeting.
Igbokwe stated that the meeting would create avenues on how better synergy can be created between the State and Local Governments.
He expressed optimism that the Local Councils would going forward compliment the activities of EFAG in maintaining tertiary drains more than they are presently doing.
He said Lagos has remained largely flood free all year long due to the efforts of the Office of Drainage Services, which is still ongoing.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde, said the time has come for Local Councils to take up their constitutional role in terms of maintenance of tertiary drains.
Shodeinde said the narrative has to change now as all hands must be on deck to ensure a flood free Lagos in line with the vision of Sanwo-Olu.
The Stakeholders meeting also featured presentations on law on drainages by Olubunmi Obadan, an overview of drainage systems by Engr. Michael Adekoya and drainage maintenance by Engr. Olalekan Ajani.
The event was attended by many dignitaries, including the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed; Permanent Secretary, Environmental Services, Belinda Odeneye; Chairmen of many Local Government Areas and LCDA, including the Chairman of Ojo Local Government, Hon. Rosulu Olushola Idowu; and other dignitaries.