Seemingly helpless and unable to find a solution to the ravaging flood as the rains intensify, the Lagos State government has urged residents of affected areas to relocate safe plains.
This is also as up 75 million cubic meters of water may be released from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority between July and November this year, in what could further aggravate the flood situation in the state.
The state commissioner for the environment and water resources,Tunji Bello, who gave the directive at a news conference on Tuesday, did not give details where the residents are to relocate and whether the government will extend a helping hand.
Areas being submerged in water in the state include Agboyi Ketu and Ajegunle among others. Bello said the residents must relocate now and not wait until they are trapped in by flood which could cost more lives in addition to damage to properties.
At least three people have been reportedly swept away by flood in the last four days following the downpour being experienced in Nigeria’s economic hub.
The commissioner also advised residents living along the plains of Ogun River to be on the alert and take necessary precautions as the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority which manages the Oyan River Dam will soon commence controlled seasonal release of water from the dam as a result of weather forecast and the continuous heavy downpours.
“In July, 5 million cubic meters (MCM) will be released while by August, they will release 8 to 10 million cubic meters. In September, it will be increased to 18 million cubic meters while in October 23 million cubic meters will be released which is the peak. Then by November gradual reduction of water release to the tube will be 11 million cubic meters,” said Bello.
The commissioner further noted that from the prediction of the Nigeria Meteorological Services (NIMET), the increasing frequency of extreme weather events indicated that year 2020 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding.
He stated state that the volume of rainfall would be very high in June as its being experienced now and will run into July and September, urging Lagosians, however, not to entertain fears because as the government was considering measures to contain flooding that may be experienced as result of heavy rainfalls.
“The state government is presently working on 222 secondary channels out of which 146 have been completed across the State just as 46 primary Channels are receiving attention presently in addition to the efforts of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) that are being deployed round the state to undertake quick fix to free manholes or clogged up drains manually”.
The commissioner assured the public particularly residents of Aguda, Shomolu, Surulere, Oworonshoki and Idi Oro that contractors had been deployed on all the channels in the area to continue the usual cleaning, starting from the lower stream to the upper stream.
Same, he said, was being done in Aguda, where dredging is moving gradually and would reach all the areas adjourning LUTH Idi Araba and Ishaga which are all parts of system 6c.
Bello also mentioned Idi-Oro and Olosha in Mushin as areas experiencing issues because of indiscriminate refuse dumping and assured that the ministry was taking steps to tackle the problem of refuse dumping frontally in the area so that the drainage channels can work effectively adding that eight people were arrested at Idi Araba a few days ago for dumping waste indiscriminately into the canal while it was raining and that they will be prosecuted.
He noted that government being aware of the reduced capacity of the Olusosun dumpsite and was in talk with the Ogun State government for an alternative waste dumping site in Ogun State which can be jointly managed by the two states.