The Lagos State Government has urged residents to support its efforts in keeping Lagos flood-free following prediction of increasing rain pattern between September and October 2020.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources (MOE&WR), Mr Tunji Bello, made the plea during a briefing to enlighten residents on rain patterns in Lagos on Sunday.
Bello commended the cooperation of the residents in terms of cleaning the environment within the confines of the Environmental Sanitation Law of Lagos State.
He said that the state government would continue to intesify dredging of the canals and channels and warned residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on waterways.
Bello also sympathised with residents who lost their loved ones and property in the heavy rainfalls of the past month and prayed that God should replenish their losses.
According to him, the Nigeria Meteorological Service (NIMET) forecast early this year predicted that Lagos State will experience a rainy season of 240-270 days of rainfall this year.
“We have already gone through June, July and now in August, but more rainfall is expected in September.
“According to the data provided by the Nigerian Hydrological Services (NHS), the month of June is usually the period of effective rainfall and the beginning of a new hydrological year, the River Niger Basin which covers nine countries such as Benin, Burkina Fasso, Cameroon, Chad, Cote-D’Voire, Guiness, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.
“Nigeria is downstream of all the Basin. The months of July, August, September and October are also known as JOSA months, signifying heavy rainfall, flooding and flood disasters in most parts of the country.
“The floods are often aggravated by the trains boundary inflow of River Niger and Benue from outside the country before they empty into the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria,” Bello said.
He said that states like Ogun, Kwara, Rivers and Lagos experienced heavy rainfall which led to flooding, adding that while the above states suffered from urban and river flooding, Lagos was at the receiving end due to its peculiarities of its location.
Bello said that the Ogun-Osun River Basin Management had released five million cubic liters of water in July, and would also release between eight and 10 million cubic liters in August.
He said that a total of 18 million cubic liters would be released in September while 23 million cubic liters would be released also in October being the peak.
The commissioner said that statistics released by authorities of Oyan Dam indicated that residents of Kosofe, Ajegunle, Owode Onirin, Isheri North, Agboyi Ketu, Giliti should be at alert whenever it rains and whenever water was released by the dam.
Bello restated that the government had provided additional pumping stations in some low lying areas with risks of high intensity rains in readiness for the heavy rainfall predicted in September.
He said that the state government had stepped up advocacy campaign by producing jingles using Nollywood artistes for testimonials on why residents should desist from dumping of refuse in the drainage and erecting structures on drainage channels.
“Lagos State Government is presently working on over 222 secondary channels out of which over 80 per cent are in various stages of completion just as 46 primary channels are receiving attention presently.
” I am assuring residents of some areas like Aguda, Shomolu, Surulere, Oworonskoki and Idi Oro that are complaining of not feeling the presence of the present administration in clearing canals in their area, the clearing usually start from lower stream before reaching all the adjourning areas such as LUTH, Idi Arabs and Ishaga.
“It is important to note that for 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 high rise of the Lagoon which brought about a rise of the ocean water.
“This constant rain will automatically lock up our drainages and until the water level goes down, the drainages will be unable to discharge.
“Once our drainages have been cleaned or dredged, we can always assure you that in a matter of few hours all the water will quickly disappear after the rain stops and tide begins to go down in the lagoon,” Bello said.
He, however, urged residents who were fond of dumping refuse in drainage in spite of constant enlightenment on its dangers to desist or face the environment sanitation laws. (NAN)