An environmentalist, Dr Desmond Majekodunmi, has urged the Lagos State Government to demand for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report before approving development in any part the state.
Majekodunmi made the appeal in Lagos against the backdrop of the torrential rainfall on July 7 that flooded most parts of the state.
According to him, a proper EIA report will contain how the developer will go about putting in place artificial ways of doing the same thing nature does before the development.
“The torrential rainfall in Lagos on July 7 is a warning that Climate Change is real and getting worse and more rain will still come.There will still be rainfall with increased intensity and when it happens no matter what system is in place, it will overwhelm it. It is a warning that we need to develop better infrastructure for drainage and for the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to be diligent when giving approval for any development, It is a warning that the government should look ahead and be futuristic.”
Majekodunmi said advising that people should desist from attitudes that negate the flow of water.
“Swampy areas, marshy lands or wetlands have a purpose in the ecosystem and they are repository for flood water. It holds the flood water and releases it into the Lagoon, when you sandfill the areas and do not put in place the right type of drainage, it will become terrible during heavy downpour,’’ he said.
Majekodunmi said that the environment ministry had come up with a new comprehensive plan for waste management to tackle waste disposal issues in Lagos State.
He added that the ministry should pursue the plan aggressively and provide sanctions and penalties for refuse offenders.
Majekodunmi, Chairman of Lufasi Nature Parks in of Lekki-Epe expressway, said the government needed to study its drainage plans and come up with how and where to put better systems in place.
He said the government should also consider canals and aqua docks that could do the same service that nature did before the development of the affected areas.
Majekodunmi said that Lagos residents should learn not to dump refuse inside the drainage system.The drainage system is not dustbin or waste collection centres. Lagosians should learn how to live responsibly and maintain a clean environment,’’ he said.
Majekodunmi said the government should remove structures blocking the Lagoons, adding that in doing that it should not be partial as the obstructions put the lives of the people in danger.