Lagos - The Lagos State Government on Saturday said it would soon commence the demolition of structures erected on the natural wetlands and flood plains across the state.
Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for Environment, said this while monitoring the monthly sanitation exercise in Ketu, in the Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development area of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bello monitored the exercise with Aderemi Ibirogba, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, and other top government officials.
He said the rate at which buildings were illegally springing up on wetlands and flood plains in the state was disturbing, adding that the development was "a veritable source of flooding’’.
The commissioner said that government would no longer tolerate the creation of barriers to free flow of rain water by some residents, adding that "erring residents should expect government`s bulldozers soon”.
"There are many natural wetlands in the state that people have erected structures on. Certain places where buildings should not stand, like flood plains, some people have erected structures there.
"A lot of demolition will have to take place in those areas. Wetlands are natural drains, so when people build on them, they are courting disasters and obstructing the course of nature.
"There is no way such can continue in Lagos. A lot of buildings will go. These illegal structures will be pulled down,`` he said.
Bello said that the erection of structures on the natural wetland in Agboyi, in Ketu had affected the beauty of the area and put the residents at the risk of flooding.
The commissioner said that the Ministry of Physical Planning had been properly informed of the developments.
He also decried the dumping of refuse, particularly plastic bottles, in the main drainage channels by the residents.
The commissioner said that blockage of the canals could result in flooding and other environmental disasters, urging the residents to refrain from such act.
"Less than three months ago, we dredged this canal and now the whole thing is blocked with plastic bottles and other wastes.
"What it means is that as long as we continue to dredge it, you will continue to block it.
"This is not good. It amounts to a waste of resources and threatens the environment.
"As government is trying to help you, you too should also help yourselves.
"I appeal to you to stop dumping refuse in these canals so that water can flow freely into them and your areas can be free of floods,” Bello said.
He, however, assured the residents that the canals would be cleared very soon, to ensure free flow of rain water.
A resident of the area, Daniel Akindagba, urged the government to build barricades around the canals, to prevent people from dumping refuse into them.
He said, apart from residents, non residents come from far to dump their wastes into the canals, adding that the barricades would help to check their unpleasant activities.