Lagos govt unfolds strategies to deal with shocks of rapid urbanisation

The Lagos State Government, on Saturday, said that it had evolved strategies through inter-agency collaboration to deal with shocks of rapid urbanisation towards evolving a resilient safe and healthy city.

Mr Gbolahan Oki, Chief Resilience Officer, Lagos State Resilience Office, made this known during a zoom meeting organised by the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) with the theme `Cities beyond Pandemic’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that resilience includes the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses and systems within the city to survive, adapt and grow; in spite of acute shocks or chronic stresses.

He listed sharp shocks that threatened Lagos State in recent times to include fire outbreak, building collapse, COVID-19 outbreak, flooding, traffic congestion, bloated population, among others.

Oki explained that the state government was returning to a vertical settlement template started by the Babatunde Fashola’s regime, which offered an opportunity for building affordable mass housing in small land areas.

He added that high rise buildings were an important strategy for dealing with the problem of urban slums and overcrowding, which could trigger an increase in disease outbreak and spread.

“Resilience is all about being all-inclusive with the agencies working together to bounce back and look good,’’ he said.

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Oki said that the state government was adopting intermodal transportation to deal with some of the problems.

He added that the state launched a strategy about five months ago to implement the city resilience framework which included health and well-being as well as the infrastructure and environment.

Oki further explained that the state was discussing with communities, local governments and its leadership on ways to evolve workable inclusive strategies to curb stresses and shocks of urbanisation.

He said that the resilience office was working on health, security, environment strategy in line with the global resilience standards while carrying other agencies along.

He noted that a letter had been sent to local governments through its permanent secretary to ensure communities and the third tier of government got involved in urban slum upgrading processes.

Dr Idris Salako, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, represented by his aide, Mr Niyi Osinaike, said the COVID-19 pandemic increased cost of building materials and other items across the board.

Salako said that the ministry was interfacing with the ministry of health and other agencies to evolve “robust strategies for disaster management” and curb the spread of coronavirus.

He added that the ministry’s monitoring surveillance mechanisms had been upgraded by its agencies to implement the model city plan of the state government.

Other speakers at the event stressed the need to encourage mixed land use to reduce migration, upgrade slums, address infrastructure and housing needs, tackle the effects of climate change for the health and welfare of the people.



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