Residents of Ikorodu Constituency I have called for the effective enforcement of Environmental laws and clearing of water channels by the government to curb environmental challenges.
These were parts of the aggregate views of most participants at the Constituency Stakeholders’ Meeting held at the Teaching Service Staff Development Centre (TSSDC), Owutu, Agric in Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA) , on Wednesday, September 11, 2019.
The theme for this year’s edition of the meeting, which is being organized annually by the Lagos State House Of Assembly across the 40 Constituencies in the state, was, “Environmental Challenges: Community engagement to facilitate lasting solutions “. Among those in attendance were traditional rulers, political leaders, council chairmen, religious leaders, representatives of transport unions, community development associations, markets, students, cultural groups, teachers, security agencies, youth groups and many others.
Majority Leader, Lagos State House of Assembly and the representative of Ikorodu Constituency I, Hon. Sanai Oyeniran Bolanle Agunbiade, revealed at the meeting that clearing of canals that connect various parts of Ikorodu division would begin on September 17.
Many of the residents that spoke at the parley called for the enforcement of environmental laws to curb environmental challenges , especially indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
His Royal Majesty, Oba Kabiru Shotobi, the Ayangbure of Ikorodu , represented by the Agbaakin of Ikorodu Kingdom, Otunba Ayodele Elesho , speaking at the parley , called for the clearing of drainages and canals across Ikorodu communities to stop flooding and environmental problems.
Oba Bashir Sotonwa, the Sekumade of Ikorodu , in his own royal remarks , called for effective ways of managing waste that are being generated in the Constituency.
“We need to find effective ways of managing wastes that are being generated if we are to prevent outbreak of diseases in the state and also stop flooding”.
Alhaja Allison, the Iya-Oloja General , Ikorodu Division, alleged that residents across the six councils in the division are engaging in cross-council dumping of refuse and called for enforcement of environmental laws to curb the act.
Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, Chairman, Ikorodu Local Government , in his own remarks, revealed that the council chairmen have resolved to constitute special taskforce to arrest offenders.
He warned that there would be no preferential treatment and forgiveness for any offender.
“We (chairmen) have identified black spots all around the councils and have made arrangement for monitoring team that would arrest those dumping refuse indiscriminately for prosecution” , Hon. Adeshina told hundreds of residents at the meeting.
Representative of the Community Development Committee (CDC), Ikorodu Local Government , called for the clearing of drainages across the council to allow for free-flow of waste water into canals.
The representative of the CDC in Ikorodu North LCDA , in his own contribution, also called for the channelization of drainages into the canals. He, however, said that most of the canals are always blocked and requested that they should be cleared.
Also, Hon Agunbiade , who is the chief host of the meeting , warned residents against flouting environmental, traffic and other laws , adding that he would not intervene for anybody caught flouting these laws.
“Since we have agreed that there is need for enforcement, my constituents should be aware that I will not intervene for anybody that is arrested for breaching environmental, traffic or any other law.
“I have been saying this that intervening would amount to subverting laws that I made with other lawmakers in the state”.
Meanwhile, the four-term lawmaker, in his keynote address earlier , stated that the annual meeting was designed to engage constituents on issues affecting their communities and the state at large and to also find solutions to them collectively.
“We engage our constituents annually to deliberate on issues affecting our general well-being , to rub minds on issues of concern and of the greater progress to our state and indeed, to educate citizens on Government policies and activities as well as take your complaints and suggestions back to the Executive arm of Government for necessary actions.
He stated that environmental challenges became the main focus of the lawmakers because of the challenges that the state is currently facing.
“As a way forward, my good self , together with the leadership of the Lagos State House of Assembly, have decided this time , to present and address issues of environmental challenges.
“As a foremost State Legislature that takes the welfare of its people as paramount and diligent in its primary responsibilities , the Assembly recently deliberated extensively at its Plenary Session on Tuesday, 23rd July, 2019 , on the increasing and threatening environmental issues in the State, including flooding, drainage related matters and the need to proffer necessary solutions.
“We ,thereafter , set up an ad hoc committee which has gone round the State on oversight of existing contracts in respect of our channels and drainages in the State”.
Aside enforcement and channelization of drainages into canals, other issues and suggestions raised at the meeting in Ikorodu were:
Need for recycling of plastic and rubber, call for assessment of drainages to ascertain their states, call for clearing of major canals that connect the drainages, upgrading of General hospital ,Ikorodu , and Primary Health Centres across Ikorodu division, call for provision of a central motor garage, call for rehabilitation of roads across the division and need to complete abandoned government estates in the division among others.
Meanwhile, participants on THE IMPACT WhatsApp platform , during a Discourse on the theme of the annual parley , also resolved and suggested measures as solutions to the environmental challenges facing the state.
The participants called for an improved drainage system, embarking on effective awareness on environment, empowering Community Development Associations (CDAs) to enforce sanctions, Construction, Clearing and Cleaning of drainages consistently, constant monitoring by appropriate authorities to ensure compliance to laid down environmental policies of the government, revisiting the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) model, involving more private players in waste disposal, empowering the environmental sanitation officers to enforce cleaner environment laws and enforcement of stiffer sanctions against illegal dumping of waste.
Other suggestions were Re-introduction of environmental sanitation exercise, Massive clearing of drainages and canals ( using direct labour as a cheaper alternative), Aggressive and continuous enlightenment of residence on keeping a clean environment and shunning illegal dumping of refuse, Fines for those who break environmental laws, Stoppage of pollution from Hydraulic sand dredgers, Stoppage of dust pollution from sand tippers due to failure to cover the sand while plying the road, Stoppage of damages on roads by articulated vehicles and Sand Tippers due to dropping of water while plying unintended roads in the division.
The participants also suggested that designs for rehabilitation or construction of roads in the division should consider the carrying capacity of the roads in view of the damage done by indiscriminate plying of roads by heavy duty vehicles, encouraged Sanitation Inspectors to monitor clearing of drains overgrown with debris and weeds in tertiary drains or gutters in the community,government should regurlarly open up and clear drainage discharge points of secondary and primary drain outlets, periodic spraying of stagnated drains and water bodies in each ward of the division, partnering with CDAs in each ward to compile list of residents and encourage ‘know your neighbor’ programs for security purpose, need to reinvigorate the health and sanitation department at the LGs/LCDAs to work on re-educating the people on the importance of hygiene and clean environments and relaunching drains fumigation as Ikorodu Local Government did up to the late 1980s.