The Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has alerted residents that the state would experience more heavy rainfalls from the end of this month, saying it’s intensifying measures to minimise the effects.
This was disclosed by Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, at a press conference in Lagos.
Relying on data from the Nigerian Hydrological Services, Bello said the months of July, August, September and October also known as JASO months signify heavy rainfall, flooding and flood disasters in most parts of the country.
He reiterated that while states like Ogun and Ekiti suffer from urban and river flooding, Lagos is at the receiving end of three types: coastal, urban and river flooding, because of the peculiarity of its location.
Bello said the management of Ogun Osun River Basin Authority has also commenced staggered release of water from Oyan Dam, with eight to 10 million cubic meters being released in August. It would increase to 18 million in September and 23 million cubic meters in October which is the peak.
He appealed to residents of low lying areas that are contiguous to Ogun River to be alert to the possibility of their homes being flooded as water is released from the dam.
He urged residents to adopt an attitudinal change of not dumping refuse in drainage channels and erecting structures on drainage alignments, vowing to prosecute offenders.
The commissioner explained that work is ongoing on more than 200 secondary channels with over 80 per cent in various stages of completion just as 46 primary channels are presently receiving various forms of attention.
According to him, “This is in addition to the gigantic efforts of our Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) that are being deployed round the state to undertake quick fix to free manholes or clogged up drains manually.”
He added that one of the new measures put in place to combat flash flooding is the provision of pumping stations with a pilot one being planned for Ilubirin in Lagos Island.
The commissioner noted that the pumping stations would ensure quick pumping out of water from flooded neighbourhoods and reduce risk of damages to properties.
Bello said major flood prone areas in the state that are natural buffers to the lagoon like Isheri and its environs, Owode, Agboyi-Ketu would also benefit.
“For a coastal city like Lagos, once it rains consistently for a minimum of eight hours, we are bound to have flash flood caused by increasing inability of effective discharge into the lagoon which is brought about by a rise of the ocean level.
“This will automatically lock up all our drainages and until the water level goes down, the drainages would be unable to discharge.
“This is the new wave in most coastal cities around the world including those who have adopted the best of technological advancements to curtail flooding,” he said.
Also speaking at the occasion, Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, maintained that effort to contain flood was the responsibility of everyone and not left to government alone.
He enjoined Lagosians to collaborate with the government by cleaning the drainages in their frontages and desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places.
“I would like to appeal to Lagosians to always play their part in cleaning of the environment. This must be a collective effort, so residents should ensure they take responsibility of what is going on around them,” he said.
He warned those engaging in these unwholesome acts to desist, saying the ministry has empowered its environmental enforcement agents to arrest and prosecute sanitation offenders in the state.
Igbokwe thereafter enjoined residents to report all cases of drainage blockages, dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to the appropriate authority, adding that by so doing they would be complementing the Sanwo-Olu administration’s efforts to tackle flooding in Lagos State.