In a press release published by the Lagos State Government, owners of properties erected on drainage channels that impede the free-flow of water were instructed to immediately vacate or risk being removed. The notice comes shortly after severe flooding affected most of the Island region of Lagos including some of the city’s most affluent neighbourhoods such as Victoria Island and Lekki. The flooding event raised valid concerns over the quality of infrastructure in a relatively new and growing region and also put a spotlight on the poor planning practices across the country.
In a statement signed by Babatunde Adejare, the Commissioner for the Environment, the Government expressed dismay that the lawless activities of some was constantly putting the lives and property of residents at risk. According to the Commissioner, areas where properties were erected on drainage channels include but are not limited to:
- Dolphin Estate,
- Osborne Foreshore Estate,
- Osapa London,
Speaking on the issue the Commissioner went on to say:
“Therefore, it is now of paramount importance that owners of buildings or structures impeding the free-flow of storm water, wherever they exist in the State, are advised to voluntarily quit forthwith in the overriding public interest or risk being removed by the State Government… In view of the grievous consequences of compromising drainage right of way and alignment, Lagosians are hereby warned to henceforth refrain from this illegal act, report perpetrators and cooperate with the Lagos State Government in its bid to achieve a flood-free, clean and liveable State.”
The right of way for various channels were also reiterated:
- Primary unlined (without concrete) channel is 25 meters,
- Primary lined (with concrete) channel is 15 meters,
- Secondary/connector channel is 7 meters,
- Tertiary channel is 3 meters from the fence of the house.
Primary channels such as canals are those emptying directly into the river, lagoons and other water bodies. Secondary/connector channels connect water from channels in the frontage of the house (tertiary channels) to the primary channel.