Experts call for adequate budgetary support for hydrological services
Experts have expressed concern over insufficient yearly financial budgetary support to maintain basic hydrological services and data collection activities in the country.
They argued that the situation is putting Nigerians’ lives and infrastructure at risk and limiting the potential for better and informed decision -making. The egg-heads, who expressed their frustrations in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day Stakeholders’ Summit ‘On the Negative Impacts of Ogun River on Adjoining Towns and Villages in Lagos State, called on relevant government officials to ensure adequate financial budgetary allocations for hydrological services.
They stressed that flood prevention and management efforts can only be achieved if interdisciplinary and inter-governmental approaches are adopted, and affected communities sensitized of potential and actual risks in order to induce their pre-cautionary actions as well as nature conservation measures are adopted.
The experts also urged the Federal Government to partner with the Lagos State Government for further studies to better understand the tidal effect of Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean on the flood plains.
According to them, flooding in Lagos can be attributed to natural and anthropogenic causes, with the Natural causes including the flat topography, coastal location, low elevation relative to Mean Sea level, climate, hydrology, and soil characteristics whilst the anthropogenic causes include haphazard land-use and physical planning.
While linking changing climate being experienced in the country as responsible for the extreme weather events such as floods, the experts said NIMET is willing and ready to partner with the Lagos State Government to provide site specific climate services to support the State’s efforts towards addressing the perennial flood issues.
Earlier, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode said that the summit was aimed at mitigating the effects of the flooding of Ogun River plains and maximizing the benefits derivable from the river basin, which includes transportation, fishing/farming, power generation and water supply.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare, stated that Lagosians living along the plains of the Ogun river had to suffer the hardship brought about by the recurrent flooding of the river, owing to the discharge of water from the Oyan dam being managed by the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority.
He said that the operational activities of Dams, being subject to vagaries of natures, sometimes produce unpleasant consequences to the immediate environment.