• Press Release – Lagos Assures Residents On Rainfall

     

    The Lagos State Government has assured residents that it is doing everything possible to ensure that the reports of flooding in other parts of the country and the adverse weather predictions by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) do not impact negatively on the State.

    The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare stated this during a media briefing on Year 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions and its Socio-Economic Implications for Lagos State at the weekend.

    The Nigeria Meteorological Agency and Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency, in their 2016 Annual Flood Outlook released recently had warned that this year’s flooding would be higher than that of 2015. The predictions indicated that coastal cities like Lagos will experience “flooding, sea-level rise and tidal surges.” The Agency named Ogun- Osun as one of the River Basins in the country which will experience flooding, urging the communities in the adjoining plains to keep safe distances.

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

    Re-assuring Lagosians on the issue of floods, especially in a coastal area like Lagos, the Commissioner said that it is natural that, “sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flashfloods 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 will “lock up” our drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge. Occurrences like these also cause backflows, resorting to flooding. But as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately discharge and our roads will be free.

    He disclosed, “The long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority have moderated mutual control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan and Ikere Gorge Dams by the Authority. This is a mutual relationship which we cherish and we shall continue to sustain. The low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities in Lagos State are also being closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding.” The Ogun River is particularly monitored to ensure that the threshold or maximum level of 3.0 m above sea level is not achieved before the alarm of flooding is raised, Adejare said.

    Giving the forecast for some parts of the state, the Commissioner also revealed that “Forecast   for   Ikeja,   Ikorodu,   Ikotun,  Iyana-Ipaja,   Kosofe,   Marina, Ojo, Oshodi, Somolu, Surulere, Yaba and Lagos Island confirmed that onset date ranges betweenMarch 28th April 1st, while the season ending is predicted to range between December 2nd   -5th   2016. Lagos State shall experience a rainy season of 248-253 days; the Maximum Annual Rainfall is predicted to be 1,857mm.”

    According to him, the State has since last year embarked on massive clearing and dredging of primary and secondary channels /collectors in the State, expansion of existing drainage channels, in order to contain more storm water, lining of many earth channels, to ensure flow efficiency, strengthening of Resident Engineers/Drainage Maintenance Officers to oversee drainage matters in all our Local Government Areas/LCDA’s across the State and regular Monitoring and oversights of storm water.

    Adejare appealed to Lagosians to desist from acts that can lead to flooding, indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, clogging drains with silt or construction materials, erecting structures within and around drainage Right of Way and setbacks. According to him, “Lagosians are advised to report cases of blockages, dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to our Resident Engineers.

    The Commissioner revealed that the Motto of government this year is “Sustainability of a flood-free environment,” adding, “Irrespective of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), we are preparing for the worst scenarios. He declared that, with the help of Almighty God and support of our people, no disaster shall visit us in Lagos. And we shall always keep to the promise of reducing incidences of flood to the barest minimum.”

    Adejare advised Lagosians who reside along flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers e.g. Ikorodu, Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora,  Isaalu, Pota, Shibiri etc, 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 Commissioner remarked that government has ensured that its officials are available to attend to Lagosians. “Our Drainage Engineers will be “on ground” and be available in all our 57 Local Governments and Council Development Areas to attend to all our needs, during and after the rainy season. Their names, phone numbers and email addresses will once again be made available to members of the public, both in the print and electronic media, as well as on the state’s website.”

    According to him, ‘complaints can be forwarded to Mr Olufemi Ajenifuja on the   Ministry’s emergency lines -09095555580 and 09055555878”

     

    Tunde Awobiyi

    Ministry of the Environment

     

  • Speech By The Honourable Commissioner For The Environment At The Launch Of 2016 Conservation Ecotourism For Selected Students In Lagos State.

    All protocols duly observed.
    On behalf of His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos state, it gives me great pleasure to launch the maiden program of conservation ecotourism for selected students in Lagos secondary schools.

    Eco-tourism refers to environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples. Ecotourism is distinguished by its emphasis on conservation, education, traveller responsibility and active community participation.

    The conservation ecotourism for selected students in Lagos schools have been responsibly planned to include program that will minimize the negative aspects of conventional tourism on the environment.

    Lagos as an urban area has been undergoing a lot pressure from developmental projects and population growth leading to destruction of natural habitats. This be as it may, it is noteworthy that Lagos as an urban centre still incorporates conservation of natural areas in order for the people to enjoy nature. This program aims to demonstrate to the selected students the pristine, fragile ecosystems that are in Lagos by travelling to some selected locations within a spate of one week. The sites to be visited include:

    • Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) at Lekki-Epe expressway where they will engage in talks on nature conservation, canopy walk, fishing, bird watch amongst other activities.
    • Origin zoo garden at Ikorodu where they will first and foremost be taught on the history of Lagos, visit the climate change museum, look at various animals in captivity as well as engage in local games.
    • They will also visit some swamp forest, mangrove and wetlands along Ikorodu axis. The students will also be shown life Pangolin which is an endangered species commonly traded along that axis.
    • Q-Brat Zoos and Garden along Badagry axis where they will be lectured on the history of the Badagry people, observe the various animals in their natural habitat and after this, move out to visit some wetlands that are still in pristine state such as the one in Yeketome and Ganme. They will also visit and observe the walls of coconut trees and other interesting areas.
    • OMU Resort Centre at Epe. Here, they will observe the appalling state of the activities of sand miners, dredgers and other activities of environmental degradation as well as observe various mangrove plants, and animals.
    • Akin-Sateru Farms at Km 20, Ikota, where they will learn piggery, fishery, poultry, feed meal etc.
    • The program will climax with shopping and Barbecue night reception which will serve as an avenue to get feedback on the program from the participants.

    Through this program, the following benefits are derivable:
    • Broadening the students’ knowledge on conservation and climate change issues in the state.
    • Enhancement of bio-cultural diversity which will help to inculcate in the participating students the natural and cultural heritage of Lagos State.
    • It will also increase capacity building and knowledge among the selected students on environmental and conservation issues thus becoming an Ambassador of change.
    • It will helpenlighten and empower the visiting local communities to achieve sustainable development.
    • It will further serve as a means of advancing social, economic and environmental objectives in Lagos State.

    Let me further state here that this program is very innovative in that it is a means of looking inwards by the government. Some years back, the government sponsor selected students on this type of ecotourism abroad, specifically, Germany. This program, apart frompromoting local ecotourism, will enable the students to appreciate our own environment as well as save the government scarce foreign exchange used in sponsoring such trips abroad in the past.

    The Conservation Ecotourism also afforded us the opportunity to partner with spirited members of the public, the private sectors and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs)to sustain this maiden initiative.On behalf of the state government, let me express our profound gratitude to all our sponsors and partners. These include Association of Food and Confectionaries of Nigeria (AFCON), Friesland Campina, UAC PLC,Chivita PLC , 7-Up Bottling Company, Nigeria Bottling Company, Games Supermarket , Goodies Supermarket , Spar Supermarket , Fan Milk PLC ,Cadbury PLC , Louis Valentino , Shoprite PLC ,Orchid Hotel & Resort Centre ,Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Origin Zoos and Gardens , Q-Brat Zoos and Gardens,Omu Resort Centre , Akin-Sateru Farms among others.

    I also hope you will all extend your hands of fellowship in future edition of the program.
    Thank you all.
    Itesiwaju ilu Eko lojewa logun!!!

  • Press Release – Monthly Environmental Sanitation Holds On Saturday 30th July 2016

    The Lagos State Government has declared that the July 2016 Environmental Sanitation Exercise will still be dedicated to cleaning of drains and canals across the state, to allow for free flow of water as the raining season near its peak.

    The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, 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 30th July, 2016, during which, as usual, there will be restriction of human and vehicular movement across the State.

    Dr. Adejare implored Lagosians to come out en-masse on SaturdayJuly 30th, 2016 to clean and clear the drains in their neighbourhood so as to continually prevent flooding in the State. He warned that the period of environmental sanitation should not be used for any social engagement or sporting activities, but for serious cleaning and sanitation exercises.
    According to him, “As we are all aware, Lagos is a Coastal City that has high water table levels and prone to flash-floods whenever it rains. We must therefore imbibe habits which will reduce to the barest minimum the incidence of flooding in the State”.

    He said that the target of the state this year is to sustain past record of flood abatement, thus making it possible for the State not to experience flooding as in 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 dumping waste arbitrarily into the drainage channels and canals in order to maintain a flood-free Lagos. He also warned residents who still patronize cart pushers to desist from the illegal act as it is still an offence. He advised them to dispose their waste through LAWMA/PSP Operators.

    He urged the entire 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 and other health hazards.

    He therefore, warned inter-state Bus and Luxurious Bus 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 will be apprehended and prosecuted, while passengers in such vehicles will also be prosecuted according to the State’s Environmental Sanitation Laws.

    Adejare further assured that Law Enforcement Agencies, including Nigeria Police and officials from LAWMA, LASTMA and KAI have been fully mobilized to enforce the restriction of movement order adding that offenders will be prosecuted according to the State 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.

    Tunde Awobiyi
    Ministry of the Environment.