*Allege govt’s insensitivity to their plight
Residents of Lekki Palm City Estate, Ajah, Lagos, last weekend, protested the persistent flooding of their estate caused by activities of a company called Merrs Henry Montego Homes, that is developing a housing project in the residential estate.
The protesting residents, who blocked access roads in the estate with vehicles to prevent vehicular movement in and out of the estate, said the protest was to register their anger over the lawlessness of the developer.
They said he was building on the drainage channel, thereby causing persistent flooding in the estate, and insensitivity of agencies of Lagos State Government to their plight.
According to eyewitnesses, the protest which lasted for a couple of hours, paralysed activities within the estate as site workers and trucks carrying sand to various sites could not access their destinations.
Our reporter who stumbled on the protest heard some protesting residents saying “Enough is enough of Henry Montego. For over six months now, our street has been flooded, we can no longer walk on the street without putting on rain booths, we cannot stay in homes anymore because our homes are flooded, our bath water has nowhere to go because the pipes have been damaged by construction activities of Henry Montego”.
It was learned that the estate had never experienced flooding before now, but that it started with the project embarked upon by Henry Montego. According to the residents, the developer’s construction is on drainage alignment, thereby obstructing the flow of waste water into the lagoon as contained in the layout of the estate.
A resident who noted that they bought their houses from different developers in the estate, said Henry Montego did not follow the drainage system put in place by the first set of developers of the estate, because that will affect his land.
Hear him: “The developers who sold houses to some of us in the estate had already constructed drainage channel round the estate, but Henry Montego came and blocked this channel and the result of the blockade is the flooding we are now experiencing in the estate.
“When we first noticed the implication of the developer’s action, we drew his attention to it, but he said he would construct another drainage channel that will take water backward, and we said that is not possible because of the topography of the land.”
Another resident said the developer knew that the land he bought for his housing project was part of drainage alignment, but because he was looking for more land, he decided to build on the drainage channel.
It was further gathered that following the refusal of the developer to do the right thing after several meetings with him, the residents decided to invite relevant government agencies such as Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, and Lagos State Building Control Agency, to intervene.
But, according to residents, despite the orders of the government agencies to the developer to stop work until the drainage issue was sorted out, the developer took advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown to rush building because there were no government officials to monitor him.
The residents alleged that several efforts by them to Alausa Secretariat over the matter have proved fruitless, as no sanction has been served on the developer, meanwhile the developer is having his way.
They said the government officials that visited the estate and told the developer to stop work have suddenly developed cold feet.
Our reporter’s visit to the developer’s site revealed that the project is on the drainage channel. Efforts to reach the developer were not successful as his mobile phone was not reachable.
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