Jandor’s ignorance on Lagos floods
Sir: From Friday, July 8th to Sunday 10th, Lagos was hit by heavy and perennial rainfall that fell continuously for no less than 8- 10 hours over the weekend. One of the natural and inevitable consequences of such heavy down pour was the flooding in many areas of the state and damage of property as well as loss of lives in a number of places. Seizing on this occurrence, the media team of the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor, issued a statement blaming the state government for the flood but purportedly claimed that he was setting up a Disaster Recovery Team across the state to come to the aid of flood victims.
What exactly does this mean? Does Jandor know the difference between flooding and flash flooding? Did he ask his team to undertake the necessary research before issuing the statement that amounted to political grandstanding and a display of comical ignorance? Surely, more is expected from one who aspires to become the governor of Lagos State and must be known to be diligent, profound, meticulous and refraining from frivolity in his public discourse.
Jandor himself in his statement admits that there was “torrential rain that has lasted for about seven hours.” The question is, for how long did flood water remain on the streets and drains across the state when the rain eventually stopped? The flood water had subsided and cleared within 24 and at most 48 hours in heavily hit areas. This is a natural and routine occurrence in several especially low-lying areas across the world both in developed and underdeveloped countries.
Is Jandor aware of the relationship between the geographical location of Lagos relative to the sea and the vulnerability of many parts of the state to flooding? Experts estimate that Lagos is less than two meters above sea level and that some parts of the state may well be below sea level. That means that flooding is a phenomenon that the state must continue to cope with even as it strives to continue to improve on the knowledge, skills and technology to mitigate its effects. Had the PDP candidate done his research as expected of a politician who aspires to be governor of Lagos State, he would have discovered that the kind of flash floods experienced in Lagos and some other parts of Nigeria is a frequent phenomenon across the world.
The Lagos State Ministry of Environment had as far back as March 2022, alerted residents about the predicted high rainfalls this year and the socio-economic implications for the people. To mitigate the extent of flooding, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, said the ministry had put in place an all-year-round drainage maintenance mechanism for effective flood control as well as a functional and efficient solid waste management system.
Ayodele Olu Peters.