AS flooding continues to pose environmental challenge in Lagos, the state authorities have risen to the occasion through the procurement of multi-capacity equipment, which will be used for free flow of water channels.
Recently torrential rains, has led to overflowing rivers, canals and floods, which is caused by shallow water canals caused by silting and refuse dumped into the canals. This has led to obstruction of free flow of water leading to overflow and flood.
The equipment known as Watermaster Classic IV was bought by State Ministry of Environment from Messrs Saxona System Limited, authorised dealer and service centre for Watermaster equipment in Nigeria. Watermaster is a heavy duty machine designed and built for backhoe dredging of shallow waters, rivers, canals, ponds, basin and pile driving with all the capacities all encapsulated in one machine with a maximum working depth of about six metres. It can load and off-load by itself and ‘walk’ in and out of water without crane assistance.
Watermaster has different functions ranging from cutter pump for general suction dredging, 500l bucket for excavating hard soils, clamshell bucket good for loading into barges, 2,75 m wide rake for removal of reeds, roots and other vegetation, and piling bucket, general pile driving attachment for wood piles.
The State’s Ministry of Environment launched the equipment two months ago at the Lagos /Ogun border- Ajegunle by Sango Ota Toll Gate Bridge and used in removing the vegetation and trash from water area of Ajegunle.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello stated that the government’s determination to prevent another disaster during the rainy season is what brought about the procurement and deployment of Watermaster equipment.
He stated that the initial dredging works would soon be completed and that as everyone could see the equipment is at site to work. He made it clear that the present administration has deemed it fit to expand the streams, as they can no longer contain the volume of water flowing through them. This is to prevent another flood disaster in Lagos state due to blockage of water channel.
The expectation of the government from the residents is that they should desist from dumping of refuse on waterways, erection of structures on water channels and observance of government standard distance of 45-50 metres from riverbanks.
Dredging Today Staff, July 16, 2012; Images: Watermaster