Satellite Town residents seek relocation of tank farms
If there is any community in Lagos State literarily sitting on a powder keg, Satellite Town in the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area is evidently one. The densely populated residential community of over 500,000 residents is surrounded by the sea but the clear and present danger facing the community is the indiscriminate siting of tank farms, bonded/container terminals and the blockage of water channels in the area.
Satellite Town stretches from Alakija to Abuleado along the Lagos-Badagry expressway to the Waterside area. Along the Waterside area, a space of nearly two kilometres is a concentration of 12 tank farms, with more still springing up.
On Tuesday, community leaders resolved that rather than keep quiet about the development and suffer in silence, they have decided to call the attention of the federal and state governments to their plight.
They include flood channel blockage/surface flooding, submerging of houses, traffic gridlock, bad roads, reckless parking of tankers and trucks, and environmental pollution and epidemic. The residents are fearful that the proliferation of tank farms, container terminals and bonded warehouses is a recipe disaster in the area.
Chairman, Satellite Town Forum, Mr. Governor Imitini, who spoke with newsmen, said not only were the tank farms capable of exploding, their activities have made life unbearable for residents. According to him, in a day, over 400 tankers loaded with petrol are trapped on the single narrow road, Marwa Road, leading to a congestion of the only access route to the area.
Imitini said: “The operation of these tank farms is an impending disaster. This is in addition to the bonded terminal at Alakija with its unending fleet of trucks. The location of these facilities in this densely populated residential area without due consideration for residents, closeness to residential areas, and provision of alternative vehicular routes and adequate facilities, has negatively impacted the Satellite Town community.
“We most respectfully send this SOS to President Muhammadu Buhari; the ministers of Petroleum, Environment, Works and Transportation; as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian Ports Authority to come to our aid as we are dying gradually.”
Appealing for the intervention of the Lagos State Government as well as the National Assembly and the Lagos State House of Assembly on the issue, Imitini added that many tank farms were constructed on flood and drainage channels, which often resulted in massive flooding of the entire settlement.
“Many residential buildings have been submerged by flood water, especially whenever it rains. Also, many landlords and tenants have abandoned their homes as a result. While those who are still around have abandoned the use of their cars due to the gridlock and bad roads.”
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