Flooding: Lagos warns owners of structures on drainage alignments, setbacks to relocate
Lagos State government, yesterday, renewed its warning to owners of structures on drainage alignments and setbacks to relocate to higher grounds, following high intensity rainfall leading to flash floods.
The state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, who disclosed this in a statement, said many of such buildings have already been marked in Mende, Maryland and Aboru in Alimosho for contraventions of drainage alignments and may soon be demolished.
He said it is regrettable that after several of such warnings, the residents of the areas have refused to move, but would rather resort to cheap blackmail of having nowhere to relocate to.
Bello, who spoke against the background of rescued people in Mende, emphasised that the area is a low-lying flood plain as attested to by the ODS markings on all the buildings, while they are on the drainage route for all the water coming from Agindigbi, Oregun, Opebi, Allen, GRA, Maryland up to Ogudu Foreshore.
According to him, now is the time for the residents of all such areas to hearken to the voice of reason by relocating to safeguard life and property.
While pleading for calm from all residents, he stated that the drainages have the capacity to contain water runoff when the rain stops just as it is happening already.
Bello said the heavy torrential rainfall , which started in the early hours of Monday and still continued on Tuesday afternoon has caused flash floods in many areas.
He reiterated his assurance that a minimum of four hours after the rainfall ceases, the water level in the lagoon will go down, allowing water from major collectors to flow into it and enabling all flood water that may have inundated roads and streets to leave the streets.
The commissioner stated that one constant factor that should be borne in mind always about Lagos is that it is a coastal city with over one third of its land mass under water.
Bello said: “Part of the proactive measures which the state has embraced is the all year round cleaning, clearing and outright construction of drainage channels that have increased their capacity to contain water and silt.
“The measure has helped in mitigating the effects the flash floods would have had. Men of a quick rapid response drainage team named Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) have continued to clean dark spots and free manholes across all primary, secondary and tertiary drains.
“Going by the rainfall projections advisory issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Services NIMET early in the year, Lagos was projected to be among the moderately projected to be affected by flooding this year.”
Bello further reiterated the dangers inherent in people wading through floods especially with high currents during rainfalls, warning that people and vehicles could be swept away in such situations.