The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources in Lagos State, Honourable Tunji Bello has raise an alarm to Lagosians of coming heavy rains in September and October.
Bello stated that the Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Services (NHS) forecast of 270 days rain from June had been experienced, adding that more would come in September and October.
The commissioner made this awareness during a news conference at the weekend to ‘update Lagosians on preparations for resumed rains from September’.
He said: “According to the data provided by the Nigerian Hydrological Services (NHS), 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. 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.”
He further said that to monitor flooding, the state staged pumping stations to pump out water from flooded neighbourhoods, such as Isheri North and its environs, Owode, Agboyi Ketu and others.
The technology was also deployed in Illuburin and Adeniji Adele on Lagos Island.
Bello called on residents of Kosofe, Ajegunle, Owode Oniri, Agiliti and Ketu to be alert to the release of 18 million cubic metres at Oyan Dam next month and 23 cubic metres in October, saying they should move to safer locations.
He said: “Lagos is presently working on over 222 secondary channels, of which over 80 per cent are almost completed and 46 primary channels receiving attention.
“I am assuring residents of areas like Aguda, Shomolu, Surulere, Oworonskoki and Idi Oro who are complaining of neglect that the government is working; clearing of canals usually start from lower stream before reaching all the adjourning areas such as LUTH, Idi Araba 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 hours all the water will quickly disappear after the rain stops and tide begins to go down in the lagoon.”
The Commissioner appealed to the residents who often dump refuse in drainage depite regular warning on its hazard to stop or face the law.
He said: “Many people still dump their refuse in tertiary channels in front of their homes when it rains. People still build on the right of way of our channels despite repeated warnings. My admonition to such people is that what goes around must come round; the refuse they dump in the drainage channels will block the passage of flood water and cause flooding, which may eventually cost their life.”