• LAGOS TO EXPERIENCE NEAR NORMAL RAINFALL IN 2020, AS STATE BRACES RESIDENTS FOR TASK AHEAD

    The Lagos State Government on Tuesday alert residents of the state that the state will witness a near  normal rainfall of between 240 to 270 days this year.

    The State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello who stated this during a press briefing on the Year 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions and  prevention of flooding in the State in his office at Alausa, added the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750mm.

    He said the earliest predicted onset of the rainy season is 17th March with other areas following, adding that the rainy season is expected to cease earliest by 22 Nov in Surulere with other areas following after.

    He stated that Ikeja was expected to have about 1526mm, while that of Badagry is 1750mm, Lagos Island with 1714mm, Ikorodu with 1690mm and Epe with 1730mm of rainfall.

    He disclosed that the report which was obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological services (NIMET) indicated further that Lagos Island was expected to have a rainfall onset date of 19th March with an error margin of three days, while its cessation date is expected to be 26th of November.

    He said this year’s prediction by NiMeT is based on the global consensus that El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is at the neutral phase which will continue till around August or September.

     It is also expected that Lagos Island will have about 252 days of rainfall with about 1714mm of rainfall through the year.

    Bello disclosed that the predictions of the Agency were valuable as vital weather and early warning tools for planners, decision makers and operators of the various sectors and businesses that might be impacted by the annual rainfall, if not well managed.

    Re-assuring Lagosians on the issue of floods, Bello said in a coastal area like Lagos, it is natural that, “sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flash-floods on our roads as normal occurrences all over the world. 

    “As long as the drains are clean, we should be assured that, in a matter of time, the flash flood will disappear”.

    According to him, it is only when flood remains on the roads for days that we can report that the place is flooded.

     “It must be noted that, anytime the Lagoon level rises, it may “lock up” the discharge points drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge. Occurrences like these also cause backflows, resulting to flooding”, he emphasised.

     But as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately discharge and our roads will be free.  

    He disclosed, “The Lagos State Government has established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority and this has ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream communities; 


    According to him, since last year the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang under Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry have been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits, to enable them discharge efficiently.

    The Commissioner urged Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) and Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) to ensure advertising and communication agencies comply with regulations on safety and stability of billboards and telecommunication masts in readiness for the strong winds expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall.

    He remarked that all relevant security and emergency agencies would be adequately informed to be ever ready for any negative effects of flooding.

     ”All emergency agencies, traffic management agencies and other emergency related outfits will be put on the alert to assist in reducing the havoc that may arise from the incidents of flooding in the State.”

    Bello advised Lagosians who reside along flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers to always be on the alert and be ready to relocate, when the need arises.  

    He maintained that government shall, as usual, notify such residents at the appropriate time. He also urged motorists to observe prescribed speed limits during the rainy reason, to avoid loss of lives and property.

    The Environment Commissioner appealed to Lagosians to desist from acts that can lead to flooding, indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places.

    Bello assured that the contact of Drainage Resident Engineers will be made available in all our 57 Local Governments Areas and Local Council Development Areas to attend to the  needs of residents before, during and after the rainy season.

    Also speaking at the briefing, the Special adviser on Drainage and water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe said the Government is working seriously with the all the Local Governments to sensitize market men and women saying that the government will not hesitate to shut down any erring market.

     Igbokwe also noted that there has been a rise in population and government will not relent in performing its responsibilities of maintaining cleanliness in the environment stressing that work is seriously going on to clear canals and drains in Oshodi, Isolo, Mushin, Ladipo amongst others.

    He enjoined the people of Lagos to support   government efforts by complementing through regular clearing of drains in their frontages to ensure free-flow of storm water as well as to desist from dumping of refuse into drainage channels and roads. 

  • MILITARY PERSONNEL ATTACK, INJURE LASG OFFICIALS ON IKOYI/VI CLEAN UP ENFORCEMENT IN V/I As 23 people are arrested, arraigned before Mobile Court

    The enforcement team of the Ikoyi /Victoria Island Clean up committee  on Tuesday came under physical attack from some military personnel at the roundabout opposite the Bonny Camp in Victoria island.

    The clean up team which had been conducting daily enforcement raids visited the roundabout and under bridge opposite Bonny Camp which served as a depot, store and distribution point for goods sold on the streets.

    Immediately the exercise commenced, the operatives were confronted by some uniformed military personnel who prevented  them from seizing the items and taking them away.

    The military personnel, some of whom were in mufti questioned the audacity of the LASG officials to conduct raids near a military capacity and resorted to beating up all identified officers of the state in sight.

    The action of the military men emboldened some of the street traders who resorted to hurling stones and other dangerous items at the officials who were on official duties.

    Attempts were made to smash the video camera of one of the television stations attached to the enforcement team while a public affairs officer was also assaulted and had his mobile phone damaged.

    Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of the Committee Mr Tunji Bello expressed sadness at the action of the uniformed men.

    He said as part of the proactive measures undertaken by the Committee,  letters of intents were written to the  various military and Police formations to inform them of the operation of the committee in VI and Ikoyi. 

    Meanwhile, a total of 23 people were arrested for street trading, breach of peace and obstructing the highways during the enforcement on Tuesday.

    Those arrested were charged before a Special Offences Mobile Court which sat at Falomo Roundabout in Ikoyi and handed out appropriate punishments.

  • AHEAD OF THE RAINS, LASG INSPECTS ONGOING DRAINAGE CLEARING PROJECTS

          ….Expresses determination to ensure a flood free Lagos

     The Lagos State Government on Friday inspected some ongoing drainage clearance and dredging projects across the state, saying it is determined to ensure a flood free Lagos.

    The team which was led by the Special Adviser, Drainage services, Engineer Joe Igbokwe and Permanent Secretary, Drainage Services, Engr Lekan Shodeinde visited canals and drainages under systems 6c, 5 and 4. 

    The areas include Luth/itire/Daniyan in system 6c, Babs Animashaun in system 5, Alaka/Iponrin/Tejuosho to Gbagada Bariga, Anthony Oke Alo and Apelehin Buxton Cole.

    Speaking with newsmen after the  inspection, The Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources  Engr. Joe Igbokwe said in preparation for the rains, government is paying desired attention to the clearing of drainage channels in the state.

    He explained that the tour became necessary in order to ascertain the level of work carried out by the contractors assigned to dredge and clear some of the canals as a means to resolve flooding issues.

     Igbokwe gave an assurance to residents that with the early commencement of the cleaning of major drainages, manholes and canals in the state, when the rains commences, it will flow into it’s natural channels.

    The Special Adviser stressed that the ultimate goal of clearing and dredging of the  drainage channels and cannals  is to allow easy passage of rainstorm water. 

    The Special Adviser warned residents who have erected fences  that inhibits the passage way for movement of machinery that would effect clearing of silts at System 6c in itire to remove them immediately or have them demolished.

    He also reiterated his appeals to all those who have constructed on drainage alignments and setbacks to remove them immediately or have them removed.

    Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Engr Lekan Shodeinde said it is regrettable that many of the channels that have been cleaned  before are being littered with refuse again by some residents.

    He called for a change of heart from the people, warning that thethe continued dumping of refuse in the canals and drains will come back to haunt the residents.

  • COURT JAILS STREET TRADER FOR ASSAULTING, BITING OFF LIPS OF NEIGHBOURHOOD CORPS OFFICIAL

    A Special Offences Mobile court sitting in the Ikeja Magisterial District on Tuesday jailed a street trader, Matthew John (27 yrs) for assaulting a Neighbourhood Safety Corps official, Mr Alape Solomon  and biting off his lips during a Clean-Up enforcement exercise in Victoria Island.

    The accused person who was arraigned before Magistrate Israel Adelakun on a 3 count charge of conduct likely to cause breach of peace, obstruction of an officer and assault was convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment  and a fine of N100,000.

    The Magistrate ruled that the offences were punishable under sections 168(1)(d), section 117(1), section 174(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos state 2015.   

     The accused person was apprehended for Illegal Street trading along Eletu Ogabi Street in Victoria Island and in the process of arresting him, he resisted arrest.

    In the ensuing melee, he held on to the head of one of the officers who accosted him and sunk his teeth into the lips severing a sizeable chunk of flesh.

    The assaulted enforcement officer who bled profusely from the upper and lower lips was rushed to the Lagos General Hospital.

    The wound was treated and he had it sutured before he was discharged. 


    Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of the Special Commitee, Mr. Tunji Bello  described the action of the trader as barbaric, noting that this unwholesome action was becoming too rampant in the state.


    Bello said it was disheartening that officers employed to safeguard members of the public are being attacked by the same people whose interest they were out to protect.

    He expressed the hope that the latest conviction would serve as adeterence to people nursing such acts in future.

  • LAGOS GIVES QUIT NOTICE TO TRADERS UNDER BURNT SIDE OF EKO BRIDGE

    Lagos State Government on Monday issued a quit notice to all the traders with containerized stores and other forms of stalls at Oke Arin Market at Ebute -Ero under parts of the Eko Bridge recently gutted by fire to relocate with immediate effect.

    The State Government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello asked all the traders under the Bridge including those not affected by the fire incident of last Sunday to move from the present location.

    He added that also affected are people with different structures under the EKO Bridge who engage in one form of selling activity or the other.

    The statement added that the State Government cannot fold its hands and watch the lives of majority of the residents exposed to avoidable dangers, stressing that the continuation of trading activities by the traders is putting the integrity of the Eko Bridge at risk.

    Bello added that all the traders and those who have erected different types of shanties under the Eko Bridge must find alternative places to trade as the state Government will soon erect a fence round the whole area.

    He said the continuation of trading activities under the Eko Bridge will affect the Bridge and the possibility of endangering the lives of several thousands who make use of the bridge daily.

    He informed that towards this end, the State Government has directed the Security agencies to monitor the immediate relocation of all traders from the present location under the bridge and also ensure that no one is allowed to continue with trading activities under any guise under the Eko Bridge anymore.

    He also advised the Local Government authorities to desist from granting permit to anyone to trade or erect any form of structures under the EKO bridge or its environs because such unbridled activities is always counter-productive.

    He recalled that activities of people who trade under some structures especially bridges in the state in the past have resulted in incalculable damages to such structures, warning that such excesses would no longer be tolerated.

  • IKOYI/VI CLEAN-UP: 215 VEHICLES IMPOUNDED, 98 PEOPLE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED SINCE COMMENCEMENT

       …..Committee warns liaison offices, buildings serving as hiding places for street traders, okada riders of dire consequences

    The Special Committee on the Clean Up of IKoyi and VIctoria Island on Sunday announced that it has so far impounded 215 vehicles and arrested and prosecuted 98 persons for various sundry environmental offenses since the commencement of the exercise.

    In a release signed by the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello who also chairs the committee, the 215 vehicles were impounded from various areas in Ikoyi and Victoria Island for parking in prohibited zones and mechanic workshops located in unauthorized places.

    He said those arrested included street traders who displayed their wares on walkways, road set backs, those operating illegal car wash  centers and auto mobile mechanics who converted public spaces to mechanic workshops as well as some drivers of contravened vehicles who resisted the impoundment of the vehicles.

    He explained that those arrested were arraigned before mobile courts which sat at the Safety Arena Mobile court In Oshodi and another mobile court which sat in Victoria Island during one of the several raids and handed out sentences which included fines.

    He informed that in terms of goods seized, those that are perishable are immediately sent to the various orphanages and motherless babies homes spread across the state by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC) while non- perishable items are being kept at the agency store at Oshodi pending when a decision will be taken on the seized items.

    The Chairman added that since the commencement of the exercise on January 10, the Special committee and its enforcement gangs made up of operatives of the State Task Force on Environmental and Special offenses, the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC), Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority(LAWMA) have also been conducting daily raids across several streets to clear all shanties and structures on Drainage channels as well as occupants of abandoned buildings.

    He warned those managing liaison offices and other types of buildings, some of which have been abandoned, against serving as hiding places for okada riders and street traders, many of who usually seek refuge in them when raids are carried out.

    He warned that if the practice continued, the committee would compile the list of such abandoned offices, publish it and may advice the State Government to take legal measures to acquire such buildings.

    Bello emphasised that the committe will intensify the clean up campaign until complete sanity is restored in all the areas of Ikoyi and Victoria Island

    He listed some of the streets were the clean- up committee have operated and cleared shanties, structures on Drainage setbacks, street traders and roadside mechanics, cart pushers include Ahmadu Bello Way, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Koko Abayomi, Idowu Martins, Anifowoshe, Adeola Odeku, Saka Tinubu, BIshop Oluwole, Amodu Ojikutu, Ologun Agbeje, Akin Adesola, Adeola Hopewell, Churchgate, Idowu Taylor and Tiamiyu Savage.

    Others include Karimu Kotun, Olosa street, Oko Awo, Sanusi Fafunwa Balarabe Musa, BIshop Aboyade Cole, Ligali Ayorinde and Ajose Adeogun while the areas already cleared in Ikoyi include Bank Road, Bedwell Road, Bourdillon Road, Alexander Avenue, Gerrard Road, Queens Drive, Olumegbon,Olawale Daodu, Thompson and Club Road, Awolowo road and Second Avenue.

    Also speaking on the exercise, the director of operation, who also doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Waste Monitoring, Mr Ayo Williams, said the clean -up committee is determined to force a relocation for all street traders and owners and occupiers of shanties and illegal structures in Ikoyi and Victoria Island by seizing their wares, dismantling the structures and prosecuting those arrested on a daily basis, both day and night.

  • LASG ADVOCATES STAKEHOLDERS SUPPORT FOR THE SUCCESS OF REGULATORY GUIDELINES IN WATER PROVISION

    Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu  on Wednesday sought the buy-in of major stakeholders and Nigerians in the water and waste water service provision to ensure the success of the regulatory guidelines in the water sector. 

    The Governor who spoke at the 2020 Lagos Water Conference held at the Muson Centre, Onikan through the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources,  Mr. Tunji Bello stated that their buy-in is essential to ensure that the water people is not only safe but in a safe environment.

    He said the clarion call by the administration on stakeholders has become necessary because it is generally accepted that the environmental regeneration programme in the water sector globally are now regulatory based and no government at any level can do it all alone.

    He said the current water crisis in which almost half of the world’s population has no or insufficient  access to clean water appeared to be an everyday occurrence which is referred to as governance crisis.

    Sanwo-Olu noted that the people created problems for themselves with the pollution of sources of clean water; unregulated sinking of boreholes; abuse and non-regeneration of water aquifers; possible occurrence of subsidence among others.

     He stressed that these problems  are matched only by the Government’s ability to create solutions and that  the forum will come up with sustainable resolutions for repositioning water governance and regulatory dispensation in Lagos State as a whole. 

    In his words: “I hope this forum will come up with sustainable resolutions for repositioning water governance and regulatory dispensation in Lagos State. I am confident that with the various stakeholders and invited speakers present at this conference would leave here better informed on the importance of and need for governance and regulation in our water sector” he said.

    He explained that good water management all over the world is one of the prerequisites of good governance adding that at the end of  the Dutch Water Governance Centre (WGC) 2011, produced a brief memorandum in which five elementary building blocks for good water governance were developed

    He emphasized that without the building blocks , there can not be good water governance and these include a powerful administrative organization of water management; a legally embedded system of water law; and adequate financing system; a systematic (planning) approach and the participation of stakeholders.

    He stated that at the inception of this administration, it pledged to create a safe, healthy and conducive environment for the good people of the state and has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the pledge through its various environmental regeneration programmes, one of which is the enthronement of a regulatory regime in the water sector.

    He thereafter called on all and sundry to join the train of collective transformation of the state while assuring that the present government will continue to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the water sector.

    Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaiman Adamu Stated that it is imperative for the State Government and Federal Government to synergize in order to ensure there is  provision of portable water for all citizens at all time.

    The Minister who spoke through the  Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, Engr. Magashi Umar stressed that the Government must ensure the implementation of water regulations law so as to find a lasting solution to the water sector.

    In her welcome  address, the Executive Secretary, Water Regulatory Commission, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, expressed appreciation to the State Government for placing high premium on the provision of clean, safe and quality water in a sustainable environment calling on Lagosians to see themselves as stakeholders and ensure the 

    realisation of the vision.

    The Guest Speaker,  from Osmotek, South Africa Mr. Julius Steyn, said Lagos State has the ability to serve as a benchmark for the rest of the world bearing in mind the state posses the technological know how and renowned personnels.

    He explained that the payment for water in Lagos State was under valued and affordable when compared to other parts of the world where water is very expressive and difficult to access.

    One of the highlights of the conference was the unveiling of Borehole permit for drillers and residents as well as four different books on water resources management and regulations by the the Governor and others. 

    In attendance at the conference were top Federal and State Government functionaries, captains of industries amongst others.

  • LASG TAKES ADVOCACY ON CLIMATE CHANGE TO SCHOOL CHILDREN

    Lagos State Government on Wednesday took the advocacy on impacts of climate change to the young ones in the state, with a clarion call for urgent and drastic actions in mitigating the overbearing effects on the environment.

    Speaking at a seminar organized at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference Centre at Alausa, the State Commissioner for the ENvironment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello said the programme is meant to catch them young and sensitise the young ones towards environmental sustainability and it becoming a way of life.


    He emphasized that as a pro-active Government, the State Government has resolutely implemented its resolutions in the areas of intensive Advocacy, Annual Massive Tree Planting Exercises, and construction of effective Drainage Channels to curtail flood, improved waste management complemented with recycling programmes, and exploration of Renewable Energy Sources amongst others. 


    The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environment, Mrs. Ibironke Belinda  added: “The impact of climate change could result in problems with food security and may threaten livelihood activities upon which much of the population depends. In other words reduction in food production would affect wellbeing and productivity” 

    Analysing the concept of climate change, Bello said the mounting pressure on natural resources, dwindling wild life, rising world population and various forms of pollution calls for immediate change towards the environment and Water Resources, adding it as result of that, that the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources created the Environmental Education  Department with the responsibility of dealing with all environmental infraction issues and sustainability.

    The Guest Lecturer, a renowned Environmentalist, Mr. Ayo Tella, took  the students through lectures on the concept, impacts and preventive measure to ensure a safe planet.

     The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Segun Samuel said the Climate Change Sensitization became necessary so as to educate the younger ones from tender age about the  importance of greening in the society and why they must make it a way of life.

    He added that the Lagos State Government is determined to take the Sensitization to various schools across the state in order to continually get the supports of the future generations towards Environmental sustainability.

    One of the participants, Miss Blessings Saheed from Omole Senior Secondary School,  said the programme was educative and promised to desist from various activities that destroy the ozone layer.

    She added that she would go back to educate her colleagues, neighbours and family members to stop cooking with fire woods, to stop bush burning, to stop waste burning in order to safe the environment from been destroyed further.

    The seminar has in attendance students and teachers from the State’s Six Education Districts and selected private schools with the pupils getting a reassurance of the  
    re-emergence of the Climate Change Clubs in schools and members will be the Environmental Ambassadors of the State.

  • 36 VEHICLES IMPOUNDED, 4 PEOPLE ARRAIGNED, CONVICTED AS IKOYI AND VICTORIA ISLAND CLEAN UP COMMENCES

    The Lagos State Government on Friday commenced the enforcement of the Clean Up of Ikoyi and Victoria Island with the impounding of 36 exotic cars and trucks from an illegal car mart and mechanic workshop located on the pedestrian walkway of Muritala Mohammed Drive formerly Bank Road In Ikoyi .

    The enforcement team which was led by the Chairman of the Task Force on Environmental and Special offenses, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi also arrested four persons who were arraigned  before a mobile court immediately.

    One of those arraigned who converted part of the walkway on Bank Road to a beer parlour was fined  N50.000 while all the cartons of alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks on display were confiscated.

    The three other persons who converted the walkway to a car mart were fined on each of the counts after pleading guilty and also had the 36 vehicles which were fairly used Tokunboh of different makes impounded by the court.

    The enforcement team also pulled down a makeshift mosque which was located on the pedestrian walkway also Bank Road, Ikoyi.

    All the remnants of the demolition exercise was carted away by Lagos State Waste Management Authority LAWMA, while towing vehicles were provided by LASTMA to move vehicles causing obstruction.

    The team also touched Adekunle Lawal formerly  Magregor Road and Olawale Daudu Road formerly Lord Rumens where a makeshift car wash opposite Abraham’s Court was dismantled and four vehicles wrongly parked towed away.

    Speaking with newsmen at end of day one of the exercise, CSP Egbeyemi adviced people who have mounted shanties and illegal structures to remove same immediately, adding that today’s exercise is just a tip of the iceberg.

    He added that the committee is committed to actualising its mandate in ridding Ikoyi and Victoria Island of all illegal structures and all environmental nuisances.

    He added that the special committee is planning to carry out the clean up exercise for the next six months and would ensure that it is sustained by KAI and Neighbourhood SAfety Corps operatives.

    The Special Committee had earlier embarked on several awareness campaigns through the electronic, print and social media to sensitise the general public, residents ,the owners of illegal structures on setbacks, walkways, drainage alignments, roadside mechanics and squatters in the affected areas to comply with the law maintaining that anyone caught would be dealt with according to the environmental laws of the state.

    As the exercise continues, commercial motorcycle riders plying restricted routes and commercial vehicles driving against traffic as well as those picking passengers on the main roads would also be prosecuted. 

    Night club owners and karaoke operators with inadequate parking spaces who encouraged their customers to park on main roads thereby making life difficult for residents to gain free access to their homes would also not go unpunished during this Clean-Up exercise.

    The resusitation of the Special Committee became necessary following the various complaints received from members of the public and residents of the area on the unwholesome activities going on in Ikoyi and Victoria Island axis.

    The quest to have a safe, clean and healthy Lagos is not negotiable as the present administration is set to find a permanent solution to all environmental infractions being witnessed in Ikoyi, and Victoria Island as well as other parts of the state.

  • LAGOS REITERATES CALL FOR CONSERVATION OF WETLANDS RESOURCES

    As State join in celebrating World Wetlands Day

    The Lagos State Government on Sunday renewed call for the conservation of wetlands resources in the State, saying they represent a critical part

     of the natural environment.

    The call was made by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello in an interview as part of the commemoration of the 2020 World Wetlands Day.

    He added that wetlands also help in reducing the impacts of flood, absorbing pollutant and improving water quality.



    Bello said that Lagos State as a coastal State has associated with the rest of the world in marking the 2020 World Wetlands day with the theme: “Wetland and Biodiversity”.

    He stated that this year’s theme “Wetland and Biodiversity” is unique and an opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status and why it matters, 

    He added that it’s an opportunity to promote actions to reverse its loss as it is now facing unprecedented extinction rates, threatening ecosystems with severe consequences for human survival. 


    He stated that Lagos State is seizing the opportunity of the World Wetlands day to sensitize Lagosians on the importance of wetlands, calling for more community participation in wetlands management and conservation in the State.

    “This year’s celebration  is dwelling more on creating awareness against encroachment and abuse of wetlands, educating people on the importance of wetlands to the ecology and economy of the State and to foster community participation in wetlands management in the State” he said”. 

    The Commissioner maintained that Wetlands were vital for human survival explaining that they are   unique and distinct ecosystem that is flooded, either permanently or seasonally by water and is known to sustain enormous life and also provide valuable economical services to humanity.

    He added  that wetlands were one of the world’s most productive environments, serving as  cradles of biological diversity that provide water and engender the sustenance  and survival of countless species of plants and animals.

    He stressed that wetlands are blessings to the communities where they exist because they serve as water reservoir, fertile for food and vegetable production, handcrafts and shelter, adding that they provide abode for cultural, recreational and tourist activities.

    While emphasizing the vital roles of wetlands, Bello said it is  faced with many threats from human activities and is the most threatened ecosystems globally.

    “It is rather unfortunate that enough consideration is not given to Wetlands as encroachment and abuse of Wetlands is a common experience to the extent that majority of the Wetlands in the State had been reclaimed with refuse and in some cases sand filled for conversion to other uses” he said. 


    To stem this development, the Environment Commissioner stated that the State Government would step up its monitoring and advocacy programme and ensure stakeholders collaboration for the protection of the state’s wetland resources.