The Lagos State Government yesterday alerted residents in the state that 2014 would possibly witness heavier rainfall than the previous years, taking cognisance of the pattern of rainfall since January.
The state government, consequently, urged stakeholders across the state including traders, community leaders and artisans among others to desist from dumping wastes on canals and drainage channels.
The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, disclosed this while inspecting the System V Drainage Channel, which runs from Yaba through Animashaun in Surulere to Ajegunle in Ajeromi Ifelodun.
The commissioner, who led a team of government officials to inspect the drainage channels, acknowledged that rain would be heavier in 2014 compared with the pattern of rainfall in the previous seasons.
He explained that the United Kingdom â€œhas started experiencing rainfall already. In Lagos, we have been experiencing rainfall since the beginning of this year. Weather has indeed changed. There is possibility that we are going to have heavy rainfall this year. As a result, we need to prepare ahead.â€
The commissioner, therefore, asked the market leaders, artisans and community leaders among others in all parts of the state to join hands with the state government to make adequate preparation ahead of 2014 rainy season.
Bello urged them to desist from dumping wastes in the canals and trading on the drainage channels, noting that such practice could complicate incident of erosion and flooding in all parts of the state.
He lamented the attending dangers of blocked drainage channels during the rainy season, saying the state government had cleared the channel, but the traders went to the practice of dumping indiscriminately into canal.
The commissioner cited the situation in the United Kingdom where severe weather conditions â€œhave forced some residents indoors and have destroyed properties. The rain is coming as well. It will be very heavy this year, there is a lot you can do on your own to sustain the efforts of government and it is in your own interest.
â€œWhen you dump refuse here, the rain will wash it into the canal and then flood will take over your area. The traders should patronise the PSP waste disposal operators rather than dumping refuse into the canal.â€
He said efforts have commenced â€œto clear and de-silt canals across the state ahead of the rain. However, it is important first to sensitise the people and urge them to stop dumping refuse in the canal and drainage channels.â€
The traders assured that they would comply with the directive and clean up the canals, however urging government to erect barriers within the canal to prevent wanton dumping of refuse into the canal.