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Concerns over flood in Lagos as rainy season begins


CONCERNS over flooding in Lagos metropolis was last Wednesday heightened among residents following the mid-morning downpour, which lasted few hours, leaving in its trail flood roads and blocked drainage filled with refuse and debris.

   Although, it was not the first rain in Lagos for the year, but the aftermath of the rain left many Lagosians worried as they look forward to the coming rainy season with trepidation, considering that the state is a few metres below the sea level.

   For example, residents in flood-prone areas like Oworonsoki, Ilasa, Mushin, Iyana-Itire, Ijesha, Surulere, Ajangbadi, Oshodi, Ketu and some parts of Ikeja were alarmed that with the extensive work done on the roads and canals by the Lagos State government in recent years, many of the drainage in their areas were filled with debris that cluttered free flow of rainwater.

   The roads were flooded several hours after the rain had subsided and several kinds of waste block the drainage like motor tyres, PET bottles, plastics and various kinds of metal.

   An Ilasa resident, Mike Ajomiwe, who was alarmed with the situation, said with the blocked drainage, flooding would be inevitable in the city when the rains eventually descend. 

   The father of four, who has lived in Ilasa for over a decade, hinged his assertion on his experiences in the area. He however expressed worries that Lagos residents are still emptying their waste inside drainage, canals and waterways despite efforts of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to evacuate waste in the state.

   According to him, the attitude of Lagosians and traders to dump refuse inside drainages remained a course of worry to the authorities.

   Ajomiwe called on the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and other relevant agencies to swing into action and de-silt the drainage to save the state from another impending flood disaster. 

   Also, a trader at the popular Mile 12 Market in Kosofe Local Council, who simply gave her name as Iya Biriki, said it would take a sustained enlightenment campaign to change the attitude of an average Lagos trader.

   The trader, who deals in pepper and fruits, said the early rains are signs for the authorities to brace up with the challenge of reducing the incidence of flooding in the state.

   She also called for a regular evacuation of drainage in the metropolis, saying traders are made to pay environmental fees apart from the regular weekly money paid after cleaning up the market on Thursdays.

   The assertion of Iya Biriki also received a tacit support from Mrs. Atinuke Abiodun, another trader at Challenge Bus-stop. Mushin, who said for the regular Thursday morning clean up, the market would have been a no-go area.

   The woman, who trades in cosmetics, said many of the residents see the gutter and drainage as a refuse dump and would not renege from dumping their waste into the gutters, even when there are wastebaskets around.

   She regretted that the attitude is not even limited to the elderly, as the younger generations of traders have also copied the bad habits.

   But an official of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment gave the assurance that the ministry will soon commence de-silting and evacuation of drainages preparatory to the rainy season.

   The official, who pleaded for anonymity, said the exercise was only being delayed by the forthcoming elections, which has taken heavy tolls on government activities.


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