Lagos State Government has convened a meeting of all critical stakeholders to evaluate the state’s preparedness for any eventuality over the ravaging massive flooding across the states of the federation.
The state has, however, directed all relevant enforcement arms of the state to step up their supervisory roles to contain any eventuality.
The situation which has elicited renewed fears among residents of the state was convened on the directives of the state Governor, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, over the weekend, said the stakeholders came up with a resolution that while Lagos is not totally immune from flooding, the state will continue to effectively manage its situation without posing risk to lives and property of residents.
According to Bello, “now is the time for all enforcement arms of the state to step up their supervisory roles.”
He stated that the enforcement impact must be felt by recalcitrant people and institutions who have defied government and built structures on drainage alignments, flood plains and low lying areas now more than ever before.
Bello added that despite the fact that Lagos is a coastal city with almost one third of its total landmass under water, what it experiences after each bout of heavy rainfalls is flash flooding which will recede few hours after the cessation of such rainfalls.
The commissioner, who expressed sympathy with victims who have suffered any form of losses due to the prevalence of flooding, across the states, said Lagos is constantly monitoring the Ogun River which flows directly into the Lagos Lagoon.
Directs residents of river banks to relocate
The commissioner, therefore, said that as a result of the latest development, residents of all identified areas like: Ketu, Alapere, Agric, Owode onirin, Ajegunle, Alagbole, Kara, Isheri olowora, Araromi Otun orisha community, Agiliti, Maidan, Mile 12, Odo ogun, Owode elede, Agboyi 1, Agboyi II, Agboyi III which are banks to the Ogun River were alerted to be ready to relocate at any given time.
He stressed that residents fail to realize that the position and location of Lagos State on the map makes the state’s Lagoon the convergence point of all water from the Ogun River, Ona Ibu River, Osun River, Sasha River that runs across many South West States.
Bello, explained that the state is also working in concert with the Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority to ensure that rain water releases that pass through the Oyan Dam have a minimal negative impact on the residents.
The commissioner, reiterated that the state, through the Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources has embarked on massive dredging and cleaning of all primary and secondary collectors across the state.
‘This is in addition to construction of new channels as well as deployment of the quick response Emergency Flood Abatement Gang to free up manholes and black spots all to ensure that the drains perform at optimum capacity to be able to contain runoffs,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engineer Nurudeen Shodeinde assured residents that the state government “is upping the ante” in terms of its preparedness on a 24 hour basis.
He commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for always providing the financial wherewithal to the ministry which has enabled it actualise many of its plans and programme to ensure a flood free Lagos.
Flash flooding alert
He also said other residents living along major drainage channels of System 1 to 169 round the state must also be wary of the effects of flash flooding.
He recalled that a few days areas ago, areas like Oko Oba, Abbatoir and Aboru in Alimosho were flooded after a 2 hour rainfall which had an intensity that had not been witnessed in the last 30 years due to climate change.
He stressed that such one off rainfall of unprecedented intensity should be expected at the present period and should be prepared for.
He said the Seasonal Rainfall Pattern for 2022 released earlier in the year by the Nigerian Metrological Services NIMET had predicted that the peak of the resurgent rainfall for the year will be in October.
Bello, said Lagos may be susceptible to dangers of flooding with the periodic release of rain water from Oyan Dam by the managers, the Ogun Oshun River Basin Development Authority to maintain the sanctity of the dam and which may increase the level of water of the lagoon.