Press Release – Sanitation Exercise Now To Focus On Drains And Canals

In view of the reports of Annual Flooding Outlook and Rainfall Prediction released by the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and the subsequent Seasonal Rainfall Prediction Press Conference by the Ministry of the Environment held on Thursday, August 18th, 2016 in the Ministry, the State Government in order to avert any unforeseen circumstances has stepped up the cleaning and clearing of all drainages and canals across the State so as to ensure free-flow of water whenever it rains.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, who pronounced this in a press statement reinstated that the Sanitation Exercise will be observed state-wide between the usual hours of 7.00am-10.00am on Saturday 27th August,2016, during which, there will be restrictions on human and vehicular movement across the State.
Dr. Adejare implored Lagosians to come out en-mass on Saturday to clean and clear the drains in their neighbourhood so as to continually prevent flooding in the State. He warned that the period of the exercise should not be used for any social engagement or sporting activities, but for serious cleaning of the Environment.

According to him, “Lagos being a coastal State with high water table levels and flat terrain is susceptible to flooding. We must therefore imbibe habits which will reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of flooding, which has so far been contained in the State”.
He said that the target of the State this year is to sustain past records of flood abatement and avoid the incidences flooding which as characterised the past years, adding that, “this can only be achieved through effective collaboration of the people”.

The Commissioner advised residents of the State to desist from habits such as arbitrary dumping of solid waste into drainages and canals, stop building on drainage alignments in order to continuously sustain a flood-free Lagos. He also warned residents who still patronize cart pushers to desist from this illegal act as it is still an offence. He advised them to dispose their waste through LAWMA / PSP Operators.

He urged all residents, to ensure that their environment is kept clean at all times and free from storm water stagnation, which could also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Allaying the fear of the populace on flooding, he stated that “flash flooding maybe experienced in some part of the State, but would disappear within a short period of time”.

He therefore, warned Inter-state and Luxurious Buses Operators, Transport Owners and Road Transport Workers to comply with the restriction order on human and vehicular movement between 7.00am-10.00am, stating that anyone caught violating this order would be apprehended and prosecuted, while passengers in such vehicles would also be prosecuted according to the State’s Environmental Sanitation Laws.

The Commissioner assured the people of Lagos of the commitment and determination of the State Government to attain a sustainable, safe and clean environment. He therefore urged Lagosians to support Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s vision of a cleaner and healthier Lagos by abstaining from bad environmental practices such as open defecation and urination, littering of the highways and roads amongst others.

Tunde Awobiyi
Ministry of the Environment.