Council Seeks LASG's Intervention Over Blocked Canal

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The Chairman of Isolo Local Council Development Area, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, Shamsudeen Abiodun Olaleye, has called for the intervention of the state government over illegal structures blocking Ilasamaja Canal in the council area.

The chairman made this disclosure during a recent visit to the canal site where dredging work is currently on-going.

During a visit to the canal site, it was observed that there were buildings and illegal structures blocking the canal’s path, a development which has prompted the canal to overflow its bank when it rains heavily.

Investigation revealed that Ilasamaja Canal has become an albatross of some sort for residents of the area as no fewer than seven people have drowned inside the canal as a result of the perennial flooding in the area.

The unwholesome development has prompted community leaders in Ilasamaja to seek the intervention of the state government to no avail.

However, the situation changed for the better when the Isolo LCDA boss, Olaleye promised to table the plight of the residents before the Lagos State Ministry of Environment for prompt action.

His intervention has eventually paid off as the ministry has started work on the dredging of the canal which links Okota, Ire Akari and Ilasamaja communities.

With works currently on-going, there are encumbrances likely to jeopardise the effort of both the local council and the state government of de-flooding the area especially during this raining season.

Olaleye who was visibly worried over the threat of flooding to both human lives and properties in the area said,” I still wonder how these buildings got there in the first place and I am challenging the kind of approval that will be issued to effect the construction of these buildings as the structures have contravened 50 metres rules distance from the canal on both sides. I would like to invite the attention of the ministries of physical planning and that of the environment to investigate the abnormal structures being erected here.”

“In as much as the council boss would have loved to remove all impediments blocking the canal, he was constrained by the fact that local governments are not statutorily empowered to demolish such structures. He said he was willing to go cap in hand again to the supervising ministries to correct the anomaly.

“What we have here is an anomaly and this can only be corrected by both the ministries of Physical Planning and that of the Environment. We cannot jeopardise the interest of the whole of a community because of the interest of a few individuals,” Olaleye said.

Aside this,he assured the residents of the area of free-flow of flood when the raining season starts.

In his words: “This is one of the promises I made to the people of Ilasamaja during our electioneering campaign. I knew then that something drastic must be done to this canal as it needed serious re-dredging. We understand the fact that the re-dredging of this canal is too overwhelming for the local government to handle, that is why we drew the attention of the state government. Now the state government has fulfilled its promise to the council area. I am delighted that in this area I can beat my chest that I have fulfilled another promise I made to them.”

He gave kudos to Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and the state Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, for preparing well enough for this year’s raining season.

“I will seize this opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the state government especially in Isolo LCDA since the inception of this administration. This was borne out of the fact that the government has helped us in no small measure in fulfilling our promises to the people,” Olaleye added.

Speaking on the illegal structures and building blocking the canal, the second vice-chairman of Isolo Community Development Committee and Treasurer of Oluwalogbon CDA, Alhaji Semiudeen Alani Ramoni, expressed his appreciation to the chairman, for making the re-dredging of the canal possible.

He appealed to the council boss to ensure that the dredging of the canal conforms to the standard of the state government.

—Jamiu Yisa