IKEJA—Business owners and residents on Moshood Abiola Way (former Ijora Causeway), Lagos and motorists, yesterday, experienced gridlock owing to the heavy flooding caused by the ongoing rehabilitation of the road which Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, promised would be completed last month.
Managing Director of the agency, Mr. Kabir Abdullahi, had assured on the completion date in an interview on March 11, after an inspection of the 1.3 kilometre road project.
Because of the flooding of the area many businesses had moved to other places.
Yesterday’s early rainfall and subsequent flooding of the area made nonsense of the FERMA boss’ assurance when he said the agency had fixed the other side of the road, spanning 1.5 kilometres and was already being used by motorists.
He said: “Before the end of May, the contractor has said the Ijora Causeway will be completed. The first section is ready.”
He expressed satisfaction with the standard of work done by the contractor handling the rehabilitation project and was optimistic that it should stand the test of time.
The early rains this year caught many Lagosians unawares, especially with regard to the havoc that was wreaked through massive flooding and destruction of life and property.
It was a development that prompted the Lagos State Government to embark on emergency flooding prevention/reduction measures.
It also followed this up with routine maintenance of drainage channels and construction of new ones, as well as initiating other measures and projects to deal with the menace.
According to officials of the state Ministry of the Environment, the measures so adopted are to ensure that the recent ugly experiences are reduced or totally eliminated so that Lagos would have a flood-free rainy season.
Among measures put in place is what the Office of Drainage Services, under the ministry describes as an “all-year-round cleaning and maintenance of drainage channels” across the state.
Effect of climate change
The drainage maintenance programme, according to the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, will lead to the de-silting of the major channels in all the 20 local government areas, and 37 local council development areas of the state.
Giving the highlights of the programme recently, Bello maintained that the de-silting embarked upon by the Office of Drainage Services was paying off, stressing that “if the government had not put in place an effective drainage system, many parts of the state would have been consumed by the July 10, 2011 severe flooding that accompanied the torrential downpour.”
And, despite the seeming contradictory predictions by different agencies on what the weather condition would be this year, the commissioner aligned with experts’ predictions that this year’s rainfall might be heavier than the previous years, warning that it was necessary to take preventive measures.
At present, municipal waste management has drastically improved, unlike in the past when due to bad public conduct, garbage littered the environment and blocked drainage channels.
Initial work on de-silting of drainage channels had been done in places such as Adekunle Fajuyi Street, Adeyinka Adebayo Road and Kodesoh Street, in Ikeja. Same as Simpson and Sandgrouse streets in Lagos Island; Lanre Awolokun Street, Somolu; College Road, Ifako; Arowojobe Street, Oshodi; Agric/Oja Road, Ikorodu; Gemini/Coker, Surulere; Adeniji-Adele Road, Lagos Island and Ogunmokun Street in Mushin that were flood- prone have received necessary official attention to prevent flooding.