FG Intervenes In Lagos Flood Disaster

•Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire (left) and  the Federal Government team.

•Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire (left) and the Federal Government team.

The Federal Government appears set to give the Lagos State government the long  awaited Ecological Fund to tackle the flood disaster that hit the state recently and  to solve other emergencies as it has sent its team to assess the extent of havoc  wreaked on the state by the flood.

•Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire (left) and the Federal Government team.

Directors from the Federal Ministry of the Environment and the Ecological Department  toured the scene of the flood yesterday alongside officials of the Lagos State  Ministry of the Environment, led by the Commissioner, Dr. Muiz Banire and the  Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali.

The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund, represented by one of the agency’s  directors, Mrs. Rose Maranzu assured the state government that the Federal  Government would surely intervene in the matter by releasing the ecological fund to  enable the state to tackle the flood disaster.

“We are here with our consultants and directors to assess the level of damage and  then process the approval,” she stated.

Acting Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of the Environment, Engr. Yaya Bawuro,  also assured that the Federal Government would surely intervene in the matter and  make the needed funds available to tackle disasters in Lagos State.

“Immediately the president heard about it, he directed the Federal Ministry of the  Environment to swing into action and expressed his sympathy; we have seen what  happened and with what we have seen, it is a very serious problem.

“The people should bear with us.   We are going to approach the problem with  wholesome solution,” he assured, adding that with the team from the ecological unit  embarking on the tour, the needed fund would soon be released.

Commissioner for the Environment, Banire said the problem of the flood emanated from  the Oyan Dam where water was released by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development  Authority.

“We have some options we are looking at and it will involve money.  We need the  Federal Government’s intervention. Engineering solution is needed to solve the  problem,” he said, adding that the government would soon commence auditing of the  affected buildings to ascertain their durability.

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Banire stated that government would be doing so in order to safeguard the lives of  the people, while he appealed to residents of the communities abutting the Ogun  River to vacate the area.

“We will be engaging them in dialogue to let them understand why they have to  relocate. We are in a democratic system and we cannot force them to leave. We are  not just asking them to leave but making plans to resettle them,” he added.

Also visiting the area, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dayo  Bush-Alebiosu supported the decision of the Lagos State Government to evacuate the  victims of the flood disaster.

According to him, the decision to move the victims from the flood ravaged areas to  relief camps was aimed at ameliorating their plight until the situation improved.

The lawmaker said the issue of the perennial flooding, which had continually wreaked  havoc on the property and well being of the people of his Federal Constituency, had  been brought to the attention of the National Assembly and expressed optimism that  the solution to the perennial flooding of the area was in sight.

Bush-Alebiosu who also sympathised with those rendered homeless by the flood noted  that as soon as the rain stopped and the dry season comes around, a final solution  to the environmental challenge would be provided as the suffering of the victims is  unimaginable.

—By Kazeem Ugbodaga

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