Lagos issues red alert on downpour, flash flood in September

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Issues relocation advice to residents in 7 LGAs Commences provision of pump stations By Olasunkanmi Akoni Lagos State Government has predicted impending heavy rainfalls with attendant flash flood from the end of August to October 2020 in the state.

Meantime, as part of the proactive measure, the state government directed residents in high prone areas, such as: Aboyi Ketu, Agiliti, Kosofe, Ajegunle, Owode Onirin, Isheri North of the state to relocate whenever it rains and water released from Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority to avoid the incidence of loss of lives.

It, however, said it is intensifying measures to minimise the effects through the provision of pump stations with pilot phase at Iluburin.

Recall that Nigeria meteorological Services, NiMET forecast early this year predicted that Lagos will experience a rainy season of 240-270 days, while maximum Annual Rainfall is predicted to be 1,750mm.

The state Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, addressing newsmen at the weekend on the update of on preparations for resumed rainfalls in the state, said work was ongoing on more than 200 secondary channels with over 80 per cent in various stages of completion just as 46 primary Channels are presently receiving various forms of attention.

Bello said: “We have already gone through June, July and now in August, but more rainfall is expected in September.

“This is in addition to the gigantic efforts of our Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) that are being deployed around the state to undertake quick fix to free manholes or clogged up drains manually,” he said.

He stated that one of the new measures put in place to combat flash flooding is the provision of pumping stations with a pilot one being planned for Ilubirin in Lagos Island. Bello explained that the pumping stations would ensure quick pumping out of the water from flooded neighbourhoods and reduce the risk of damages to properties.

Bello said major flood-prone areas in the State that are natural buffers to the lagoon-like Isheri and its environs, Owode, Agboyi –Ketu will also benefit.

“For a coastal city like Lagos, once it rains consistently for a minimum of 8 hours, we are bound to have flash flood caused by an increasing inability of effective discharge into the lagoon which is brought about by a rise of the ocean level.

“This will automatically lock up all our drainages and until the water level goes down, the drainages would be unable to discharge.

“This is the new wave in most coastal cities around the world including those who have adopted the best of technological advancements to curtail flooding”. Relying on data from the Nigerian Hydrological Services,  Bello said the months of July, August, September and October are also known as JASO months signify heavy rainfall, flooding and flood disasters in most parts of the country.

Bello said the management of the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority has also commenced the staggered release of water from the Oyan Dam, with 8 to 10 Million cubic meters being released in August, which will increase to 18 million in September and 23 million cubic meters in October which is the peak.

He, therefore, appealed to residents to adopt an attitudinal change of not dumping refuse in drainage channels and erecting structures on drainage alignments, vowing to prosecute offenders.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe maintained that the effort to contain flood was the responsibility of everyone and not left to government alone.

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