Massive flood in Lagos

A don, Prof. Leke Oduwaye, on Monday urged Lagos State Government to prosecute owners of buildings blocking drainage right-of -way to guard against flooding.

Oduwaye, a lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos (UNILAG), gave the advice in Lagos.

“There is provision for the prosecution of those violating town planning rules and regulations; unfortunately, this is not being done.

“However, with the frequent and excessive flooding, the Lagos State Government should take action.

“Those buildings blocking entrance of the water to the Lagoon or any other drainage channel should be marked and court notices served to their owners.

“By the time 10 or more notices are served and those involved prosecuted, everybody will know that it has greater consequences than just paying money to be free.

“The government should also go further to trace the town planning officers in that zone that gave such approval whether the officer is still in service or have retired,” he said.

Oduwaye said that there was no way a construction of four-bedroom flats or any other building would be completed within a month.

He said that those town planning officers who neglected to see that illegal construction was going on should be traced and documented.

According to the don, for any drainage approval, there are setbacks the owners are supposed to obey.

The professor said that what happened on site after the approval was that people would always encroach on those setbacks.

Oduwaye said it was the duty of the town planning officers to embark on post-construction inspection and asked people encroaching on setbacks to remove them.

He noted that the warning should be followed with court notices and proceedings to check such encroachment.

The lecturer said that such a measure would help to free the drainage channels and reduce flooding in communities they were located.