Lagos Seals Off 10 Houses Over Poor Sanitation

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The Lagos State Government has sealed off 10 houses across the metropolis over poor sanitation.

Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello disclosed this at a the ministerial news conference at the weekend in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, adding that the houses were shut based on court order.

He stated that the premises were shut between January and March 2012, adding that under the same period, the Environmental Health Officers of the ministry inspected 436 premises, served 249 of them abatement notices. While 109 of them complied with the abatement notices, 78 were prosecuted in the court.

Bello added that the campaign on reduction of noise generated through religious activities was yielding positive result with greater compliance, saying that some worship centres had been closed down on the orders of the court while some residence turned into poultry farm had been closed down.

“The health of the people of Lagos has improved tremendously as diseases associated with unsanitary environment and unhealthy practices have drastically reduced. We shall continue to sustain and maintain environmental well-being of Lagos State,” he said.

Bello disclosed that the state had rehabilitated and constructed over 200 drainage channels as part of efforts to reduce flooding during the current rainy season.

The commissioner stated that the state government had also directed all the Chairmen of the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs to sustain the state’s programme by desilting street drains within their specific areas so as to ensure the reduction in flooding.

Bello said the present efforts at combating flood had been designed towards consolidating the efforts of the past year, stressing that drainage construction is still ongoing in several parts of the state while 11 channels are expected to be completed before the end of the year.

While decrying the indiscriminate construction of buildings on canals by residents, Bello advised that would-be landlords were expected to verify the status of the land they wish to purchase from the Lands Bureau and the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning before making any payment for the land, emphasising that this was to ascertain if the land is not under government acquisition or within the boundary of a channel or drainage in the area.

Bello warned that, henceforth, those who construct buildings on drainages and canal would not only have their building demolished, but would be prosecuted for violating the environmental laws of the state.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga