The traditional leader of Otumara community in the Lagos Mainland Local of Lagos state, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye has again called on the Lagos State government and the State ministry of the environment and the concerned agencies to save residents of the community from flood and blocked drainage channel which, according to him, is making life miserable for residents and traders in the community.
Kalejaiye during a chat with Newsexplorersng.com disclosed that plight of residents in his community since the start of rainfall has gone from bad to worse as they are exposed to a flooded environment .
According to him, the environmental condition is further compounded by the Otto creek which has been blocked and abandoned by successive administrations in the State, adding that the Lagos State government need not wait until his community is consumed by flood and filthy water before they intervene.
He stated that the creek was meant to serve as outlet for rain waters and flood from connecting drainages within the community was currently littered with refuse and weed thereby and left unattended to and as such allows for inflow of the waste water into the community.
He however called on relevant government agencies to address the community’s environment needs to avoid the negative impacts of such degradation.
He said, “It has not been easy for us in Otumara since the beginning of rainfall. Residents have been battling with flood challenges and this has nothing to do with us, it’s all about the neglect and abandonment of us by the government. Our drainage are blocked especially the Otto creek which ought to serve as outlet for rain waters. The creek has turned swampy and filled with waste. It needs dredging for us to be able to live a healthy and normal lives.
We are appealing to the Lagos State government and relevant agencies to come to our aid by addressing these issues. Importantly, we need the ministry of environment to dredge the creek and fix our road, schools and primary health centre. We want an improved condition of living for us and our children.
We are aware the Lagos State government is planning regeneration of our community but I wasn’t to believe that abandoning us is not what they meant by this move. The regeneration plan, should not left residents desolated. We need to be carried along with this development agenda of the government and not to be victims of neglect and abandonment.
Otumara residents are part of the State. We contribute to the economic growth of the State therefore we must benefit from government policies and welfare programmes. I am urging the Lagos State government to interfere and ensure that the Otto creek which is the cause of incessant flooding is cleared as doing this will address the flood problems in our community.”
Meanwhile while reacting to the agitation of residents of Otumara community, Hon Gbenga Omotoso, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Culture in a recent publication disclosed that “There was a day the governor mentioned the matter at the exco meeting. The place is part of the government’s Urban Regeneration Project. There is a massive plan to rebuild the place as part of our Urban Regeneration Programme. It comprises drainage work and roads. The state government is thinking of a complete facelift for the place.”
Effort to get Engr Lekan Shodeinde, the permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment to comment on Lagos st government efforts at addressing the challenges of Otumara residents proved abortive as he didn’t respond to calls made to his phone line.