An Environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote, has advised Lagos residents on proper waste management to forestall flooding in the state as the rainy season approaches.

Odubote, a climate change expert, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Friday.

He said it was necessary to clear the environment and drainages as the rainy season  fast approaches to prevent flooding in the state.

“Since July is the peak of the rainy season and we are still expecting more rain as the year rolls by, we need to be adequately prepared against flooding.

“In recent times Lagos environment has really depreciated that the streets and drainages are basically littered with trash.

“Due to the trash litters around the state, the flow of water when it rains has become a sort of problem to the environment.

“If each household or building is made responsible for the clearing of the drainages in front of their residences, it will go a long way in combating the imminent flooding.

“Though the state government is recently trying to meet up waste collection which suffered a setback in the outgoing administration, more can be done in waste management to forestall flooding.

“However Nigerians’ attitude to proper waste management has not improved at all.  So much still needs to be done about this issue,’’ he said.

Odubote also called on government at various levels to place sanctions on waste management defaulters to curb flooding in the state.

“What we need to do now to forestall flooding as the rainy season fast approaches is that the government needs to come up with sanctions against sanitation defaulters.

“For example you go to some houses and you see piles of waste in front and nobody is doing anything about it. The government needs to step up sanction measures against clean environment defaulters.

“Where are the local government sanitation officers we had in the past? These officials no longer come around to check defaulting houses with poor waste management attitude.

“Even companies and organisations are not even bothered about clearing their drainages or how their environment looks.

“I think the local government should start a house to house inspection of drainages to curb flooding in the coming rainy season,’’ Odubote said.

The expert also called for caution on the part of the government, saying that in a bid to make the state a smart-city, government should not forget the importance of environmental issues.

“The dredging and sand-filling of various areas in the state, especially near the third mainland bridge, has posed a lot of environmental implications that could result in flooding.

“These reclaimed lands due to sand-filling exercises pushed the water back to the mainland and inadvertently cause more flooding issues.

“The government needs to put this into consideration because as you keep pushing the water back due to land filling, it will have a ripple effect that will result in flooding the state.

“Despite plans to turn the state into a smart-city, environmental issues should not be overlooked. The proper channels for drainage should be put into consideration,’’ Odubote said.