Lagos plans proactive measures to curb flooding
A MORE proactive and effective master plan for flood control in Lagos State, is underway, the administration of the outgoing governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said.
The plan, is part of the recently launched “Lagos State Development Plan; 2012-2025”, is said to make flood control much easier. But the plan is still at the planning stage.
Flooding in Lagos is nothing new anytime it rains. Sometimes it may be a flash flood and at other times, the flood may be severe. But the truth is that anytime it rains, the metropolis is always in trouble.
While movement may be herculean task for the commuters, residents are always at the receiving end. Indeed, the pains and sorrows know no bound. From the highbrow Lekki to IKoyi, to Victoria Island and the rest, residents in the downtown communities are the greatest victims.
But to the government, it should not be business as usual, especially, as rain is approaching in 2015.
While unveiling the development plan, Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, noted that whilst flooding will always present a problem in Lagos State by virtue of its low lying character, it is essential to prevent the flooding of homes, businesses, media and other essential parts of the urban structure.
To Akabueze, the key to this lies in the creation and regular maintenance of adequate drainage channels, with additional measures to control flood tides, saying that this is very costly and will require special consideration under issues connected to climate change.
He stated the policy objectives/outcomes to involve effective control on the incidence of flooding and erosion in Lagos State and adequate and world-class network of drainage facilities that are regularly maintained.
To this end, he listed policy targets to include the reduction of incidence of flooding in the State from 40 per cent to 20 per cent of urbanized and semi-urbanised areas of Lagos by 2015 and eliminate all by 2025.
Secondly, to develop a storm water drainage master plan for the entire Lagos and implement by 2025; develop a regulatory framework for wetlands management in order to track and regulate land use pattern within approximately 10,000 hectares of Lagos wetlands to prevent erosion, storm water drainage channel blockages, encroachments and contraventions; sustain, improve and promote the involvement of private public-partnership in the areas of restoration of urban storm water lines through the construction and reclamation of canal bank roads and erection of wire-mesh fences on drainage channel set-backs.
Others are to sustain the continuous monitoring of flooding problems through the establishment of flood disaster early warning and advocacy mechanisms through the drainage offices within the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Development Councils (LDC’s); Develop institutional frameworks and community involvement for the upgrade, maintenance and de-silting of primary and secondary urban storm-water drainage infrastructure networks; develop frameworks for communication with stakeholders and institutions involved in storm-water infrastructure management and to develop policy and guidelines on storm-water infrastructure.