This was made known on Wednesday by the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe, at the second edition of stakeholders’ meeting with representatives of LG/LCDAs on Cleaning and Maintenance of Tertiary Drains in the State, which was held at the LCCI Conference Centre, Alausa.
According to Igbokwe, the Squad will complement the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang already in existence at the State level to ensure that tertiary drains properly discharge into primary and secondary drains.
While urging the Council authorities to think big but start small, he explained that with the employment of 50 drainage attendants that would be paid a minimum of N35,000 monthly, the Councils would spend less but achieve more, compared to what they presently spend to clean tertiary drains, adding that there is no straight-jacket approach to implementing the directives of Mr. Governor, as each council must adopt the strategy that suits it.
The Special Adviser reiterated that the stakeholders meeting is one of the proactive measures put in place to have synergy between the State and Local Governments in terms of interdependence as it affects drainage channels.
He declared that it’s high time that LG/LCDAs take ownership of tertiary drains to reduce the pressure of desilting and cleaning of the secondary and primary channels, where the State Government has continued to engage human and financial resources.
In his words: “I am confident that this second forum will afford us the opportunity to agree on best practices to resolve all the issues concerning the cleaning and maintenance of tertiary drains, which are the drains that run across our tenements, and how Local Councils should be at the forefront of monitoring and compelling residents to clean the tertiary drains across the State”.
Igbokwe pointed out that the meeting was designed to sensitise Local Governments, its administrators as well as other relevant stakeholders to map out a new course on cleaning tertiary drains and proffer solutions to foreseeable challenges.
He said this was why the State government invited the major stakeholders at the Local Councils such as the Council Engineers, heads of the Environment and Council Managers, amongst others, to evolve strategic methods to improve the environment and ensure a flood-free society.
The Special Adviser commended the enormous efforts of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) created by the State Government and deployed to undertake quick fix to free manholes or clogged up tertiary drains across the State.
Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr Lekan Shodeinde, said the time has come for Local Government Councils to take up their constitutional roles of tertiary drainage maintenance across the State, stressing that all hands must be on deck as the present administration is determined to ensure a flood-free Lagos in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
Shodeinde explained that there should be no excuse of inhibitions from political leaders in the discharge of their duties as far as such projects and intentions are well laid out.
He informed that the State Drainage Engineers and Coordinators are available in all the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas to complement the efforts of Local Government Councils with the maintenance and cleaning of tertiary drains at all times.
The Permanent Secretary also appealed to Lagosians to always report cases of drainage blockages, indiscriminate dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to the State Government, through the CITIMONITOR APP available on Google Play and App Store.
Contributing, the President, Heads of Sanitation in Local Governments, Dr. Samuel Akingbein, informed that such meetings would in future involve the Physical Planning authorities due to the many infractions by people across the State.
The event was well attended by Council Engineers, Council Managers, Heads of Environment and other Sanitation officers representing the 57 LGs/LCDAs of the State.