SANWO-OLU VOWS TO REGENERATE WATERLOGGED LAGOS ISLAND NEIGHBORHOODS
- Jankara, Pelewura, Bombata markets for redevelopment; traders get evacuation notice
- Ilubirin Pump Station ready in January
Clogged drainage, waterlogged roads, muddy streets are an eyesore that has made Idumagbo Avenue and adjoining areas in Lagos Island an urban nightmare. But the ugly sight is about to give way for a major regeneration by the Lagos State Government.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, took a tour of the area for a firsthand assessment of the environmental degradation threatening lives and livelihoods in the entire neighbourhood.
The Governor, in a pair of rain boots, trekked through the waterlogged streets, taking stock of risks posed by the polluted environment and stagnant water.
Disturbed by high-level pollution and facility decay in the entire area, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the urban renewal project would commence early next year. The regeneration, he said, will be done by Julius Berger – the construction giant which first developed the area.
The Governor, in the interim, directed the Ministry of Environment to immediately start comprehensive cleanup operation to clear unapproved structures built on water channels.
Princess Street, which leads to the popular Jankara Market, had become the opposite of what it used to be. Concrete shops built on drainage channels have left the area prone to perennial flooding.
Jankara Market had become impassable and permanently flooded due to indiscriminate trading and pollution.
Sanwo-Olu took a walk through the waterlogged Ojo-Giwa, Oroyiyin, and Binuyo streets where drainage channels had been completely blocked by concrete structures, making it difficult for stagnant water to evacuate into the secondary drainage.
While on assessment of the environmental situation in Bombata, Jankara and Pelewura markets, the Governor gave traders eviction notice to pave the way for regeneration.
Sanwo-Olu decried the level of deterioration in the neighbourhood, disclosing that the State Government would be embarking on regeneration that would solve the flooding issue.
He said: “Idumagbo Avenue and adjoining streets are part of a corridor that was once well built, but has failed over the years. It is not only the road network that has failed, but also the drainage because of all the activities of markets. We observed traders have built structures over the drainage. We noticed places where the interlocking bricks of the road could be seen, but have been covered by dirts.
“The is the situation and it is the same at Ojo-Giwa Street where traders have built on drainage along the entire stretch. All of these developments have resulted in the failure of the road and drainage. We can all see the reason why Jankara Market and other areas are flooded. This inspection has offered us the opportunity to see the issues firsthand and empower us to proffer the lasting solutions.
“I am using this as a notice to all illegal squatters on the markets. We will take and clean up the entire market. We will start fully with Bombata Market and Jankara Market, which will be demolished to ground zero. There is a full design of the plan we have to rebuild the markets. This effort, coming up early next year, will be a long-term regeneration of the area.”
In the case of Pelewura Market, which has turned a den of criminal activities, Sanwo-Olu said adequate notice would be given to illegal squatters to move. The Governor said the Government’s concessionaire, the Local Government and stakeholders would agree on when the evacuation will start.
Sanwo-Olu said the regeneration plan would offer the State Government the opportunity to review the Phase 2 of Adeniji Adele Road construction from Idumagbo Junction to Ebute Ero, stressing that the project would proffer solutions to flooding problem experienced on the stretch.
Also, Sanwo-Olu inspected the ongoing construction of Ilubirin Pump Stations that would facilitate automatic discharge of flood water from the residential areas in Lagos Island into the lagoon.
The Governor said the project was at 85 percent completion, promising that the station would be fully operational by the beginning of next year.
He said: “We have built a proper drainage infrastructure, which goes all the way down to where water will be discharged from residential areas in Lagos Island into the lagoon. Piling is being done currently to sink three Pumping Stations. All the equipment and materials needed for the completion of these stations have been procured. The project is about 85 per cent completed, only the civil work is left to be completed.
“When we open the stations, we will be opening two major drainage channels. One from Thomas and the other from Idumagbo. Both of them will flow into the lagoon through these stations. Each of the pumps will be automatically activated once the water level gets to 4 metres high; Pump 2 kicks off at 5.5 metre water level. We have built capacity to evacuate stagnant water from Lagos Island into the lagoon and we have also built redundancy.”