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We’re pursuing holistic solution to Lagos flooding, says Ambode

Areas worst hit include the highbrow Lekki-Victoria Island axis, where motorists, on Saturday, spent up to six hours to escape the water-logged roads and expressway.

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State says his administration is taking immediate steps to find a holistic solution to the problem of flooding in the state.Ambode spoke on Monday at the Water Technology and Environmental Control (WATEC) sensitisation programme in Lagos.

The country’s commercial nerve centre has been battling with flooding which hit several parts of the city in the last few days as a result of torrential rainfall.

Areas worst hit include the highbrow Lekki-Victoria Island axis, where motorists, on Saturday, spent up to six hours to escape the water-logged roads and expressway.

Heavy floods took over the entire Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island, Lagos, forcing some residents and commercial offices to unceremoniously vacate their premises.

The Lagos State Police Command had temporarily closed the road to human and vehicular movement due to threat by heavy flood.

Ambode said on Monday that there was even more urgent need to embark upon a review and re-engineering of the canals and drainage systems in the state.

According to him, this must be pursued hand in hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of the water management system.

“For the past few days, the state and indeed most parts of Nigeria, have witnessed torrential rainfall which are quite unprecedented.

“We have witnessed our most prime estates flooded with water; we have seen our roads taken over by floods, and we have painfully watched how many homesteads have literally become pools.

“These indeed are trying times for any government, especially our own administration, which has determinedly pursued massive infrastructural development, to improve standards of living of our citizenry,” Ambode said.

He said that the government would be stronger in enforcing physical planning laws, especially those building illegally on canals and blocking the free-flow of water across the state.

The governor said his administration would reinvigorate its campaign against the dumping of refuse by citizens into canals.Ambode said that access to and management of water resources, as well as environmental control, remained one of the greatest challenges facing most parts of the developing world.

He said that Israel, which Lagos State had decided to partner with in developing water technology and environmental control, was one of the first countries to successfully overcome its limitations in water resources.

“Our intention is to explore a wide array of technological advancements and possibilities, to ensure that we obtain the best solution to a rather nagging problem,” he said.
The governor said the incidence of flooding was not circumscribed to Nigeria alone, nor was it a peculiarity of the Third World.

Ambode recalled that the UK was heavily flooded this year and, indeed, witnessed some of its worst flooding since records started in 1901.He added that Japan, a country that was equally technologically savvy, had also not been spared heavy flooding this year.

“No matter how well a society may be prepared, we can never rule out the element of the natural or if you like, the supernatural.“This is why Lagos State, and indeed Nigeria, fully subscribes to the tenets of Climate Change Solutions by the United Nations,” Ambode said.

He said the aforementioned examples enjoined government to put the experience and pains into perspective and learn from all them to better prepare for the future.Earlier, the Special Adviser to the governor on Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass, said the sensitisation programme was a prelude to WATEC Israel 2017 conference, taking place from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14.

Abass said that key stakeholders would come together at the conference to deliberate on some critical issues on water technology and environmental control.

The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Guy Feldman, said that every challenge faced created room for planning and solutions.He noted that floods made the second highest damage out of all natural disasters.

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Akinwunmi Ambode


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