Lagos issues flood alert over updated 2023 water releases forecast
Following the release of an updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast for Flood Control by the Ogun -Osun River Basin Authority effective September and the high rainfall being experienced as predicted, Lagos State government, yesterday, alerted residents, especially those in the downstream of the Ogun River of the likelihood of experiencing heavy flooding from this month.
Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Lekan Shodeinde, said the affected catchment areas include: Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan and Lekki-Ajah axis.
He said the utmost concern of the state government is safety of life and property of residents, urging inhabitants and property owners in the listed areas to be ready to move upland when the water level rises, showing signs of flooding, just as it is advisable to all residents across the state.
Quoting excerpts from the updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast signed by the managing director of the Ogun- Oshun River Basin Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu,” Shodeinde explained that comparatively the total amount of Rainfall recorded from January to August 2023 (1,128.6mm) is higher than that of January to August of the year 2021 (713.4mm) and 2022 (848.1mm).
The permanent secretary said comparatively, a total of 968.6mm was recorded as amount of rainfall for the 12 months of 2021, just as a total of 1,140 mm was the recorded amount of rainfall during the 12 months of 2022, while in the first eight months of 2023, a quantum of 1,128.6mm has already been recorded, which means when the remaining four months in the year is factored in, a very high intensity of rainfall would be recorded for the whole year.
He stressed that the water levels of all tributaries, including the Oyan Dam are rising and is one of the contributory factors to the possibility of the likely flooding at downstream flow of Ogun River.
The same, he said, applies to all the channels and tributaries that discharges into the lagoon, which may experience tidal lock and flow back because of the high-water level that prevents discharges, leading to flash flooding.
He commended the authorities of the Ogun Oshun Basin Development Authority OSRBDA for ensuring that the water releases are being regulated without compromising Oyan Dam integrity, while still being guided by all the Seasonal Rainfall Patterns issued by the various agencies.
Shodeinde added that the alert has become necessary because there is much water to be expected in September 2023 in addition to the heavy downpours that is usually associated with the months of September and October every year along Ogun River Basin and other related predictions and warning from Nigeria Metrological Services (NIMET), Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)and other related agencies.
On the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroun to the Benue River, Shodeinde assured residents of the state that only 11 states namely Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River will be affected by the releases from Lagdo and there is obviously no connection between the Lagdo dam releases and operations of Oyan Dam and the water releases Forecast for Flood Control in Lagos and Ogun States.
The permanent secretary also appeals to all residents across the state to be wary of the fact that Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash flood, hence it is expedient for them to cooperate with the state government in ensuring the success of measures put in place, including the early warning alert to mitigate the effects of flash flooding.
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