Flooding: Abiodun orders removal of houses marked

Gov Dapo Abiodun

*Gives Highway hawkers 21 days to vacate the street

As part of its efforts at preventing avoidable flooding in most part of its urban cities, the Ogun State government has warned owners of houses built illegally on drainage channels statewide and marked for demolition for obstructing flow of wastes water to remove them voluntarily or have them removed by the state on their behalf at a cost payable by them.

Commissioner for Environment, Mr Ola Oresanya gave the warning when he led a state government multi- sectoral team on flood mitigation and control to assess the impact of urban flooding in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state.

According to him, if the owners of the marked buildings who have been given enough notices and ultimatum wait for the state government to remove the property, they will have to pay the state government for using the tax- payers to remove it for them and further face possible penalty as the government will drag them court for contravening the state Environmental Laws.

He therefore directed those involved to do the needful as quickly as possible to avoid these sanctions as the state government is interested in them obeying the ultimatum and the Environment Laws which prohibits them from building on flood planes.

Mr Oresanya also used the opportunity to direct house owners in the state to channel their wastes waters properly by constructing and maintaining tertiary drains in front of their houses or show evidence of waste water retention tanks to complement the state government’s efforts at constructing and maintaining primary and secondary trunks to avoid sanctions.

“Any house owner that fail to comply with these directive by allowing his or her wastes water to flow on to the roads will be penalized as the state and the local authorities will not watch them drain their waste water directly into the road thereby destroying the road infrastructure ”

“We will not fold our hands and see people destroy these roads a built with tax payers money. If you go round the state, you will see that the state government has invested heavily on this road infrastructure in the interest of the public and one of the key things that destroy them is this habit of our people which must stop forthwith” Oresanya added.

Going forward, the Commissioner announced that in conformity with the new flood realities in Nigeria and globally, the state government will soon start upgrading its drainage plans which will be followed strictly while efforts are also on to expand the drainage network for better flood mitigation and management.

He however advised house owners who may fall into these new alignments with genuine approvals to file for compensation as the state government is determined to see through its new drainage master plan.

Abiodun gives Highway Hawkers 21 days to vacate the street

Also, Governor Abiodun has given all illegal street traders on road setback along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway especially those at Kara, Isheri Warewa a twenty- one day ultimatum vacate as part of government’s efforts at restoring environmental sanity to the axis.

As a first step all their shanties will be demolished for a proper clean – up of the axis in preparation for beautification of those setback to complement the reconstruction of the Expressway by the federal government.

Governor Abiodun gave the directive in a message delivered on his behalf by his Commissioner for Environment,Mr Ola Oresanya during a meeting with community leaders at the palace of Olofin of Isheri, Oba Sulaiman Adekunle Bamgbade in Isheri.

Abiodun said the state government took the decision to dislodge the street traders and demolish all the shanties to restore environmental sanity after several warnings,abatement notices and other entreatis for them to move to government approved markets failed.

He added that aside from the environmental nuisance they constitute, most of their shanties are security risk to members of the public as they are used as criminal hideouts for street urchins and drug peddlers who rob innocent citizens of their valuables in broad daylight.

Abiodun added that their continuous stay in these filthy shanties which they have converted to homes are of hygienic concerns to the government as they practice open defecation which can lead to outbreak of communicable diseases in adjoining communities.

“So my government will not wait and allow a small group of individuals in the name of trading which is outside approved markets put the safety and health of our decent people at risk”Governor Abiodun added.

Responding, Oba Bamgbola on behalf of the community leaders pledged the commitment of the residents to government’s efforts at ridding the axis of menace of street traders as their shanties are not only posing environmental challenges but are used by criminals to attack innocent residents of the area and other unsuspecting public.