The Lagos State Government, on Sunday, cautioned residents, especially those living close to the banks of the Ogun River to remain alert as more water will be released from Oyan Dam this month, due to expected heavy rainfall.
According to a statement signed by the Honourable Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, 23 million cubic meters of water will be released in October, which is the peak of the rainfall season.
He explained that the release from the Oyan Dam, which will be the highest so far, is as a result of the intensive rainfall over the past few days and is expected to peak in the current month.
He, therefore, enjoined all residents of Agboyi-Ketu, Owode Onirin, Isheri, Ajegunle, Agiliti, Kara, Majidun and all areas bordering the rivers and the sea in Lagos to be wary of the staggered release, adding that by November, a reduced release of 11million cubic meters will be affected as the intensity of the rainfall declines.
Bello pointed out that data provided by the Nigerian Hydrological Services noted the months of July, August, September and October, as JASO months, characterised by heavy rainfall, flooding and flood disasters in most parts of the country.
Reiterating that the reminder became necessary because the projected heavy rainfall, which had increased in September, will still continue with high intensity this month leading to the staggered release of water from the dam, the Commissioner disclosed that Lagos is, however, intensifying measures to minimise the effect of the heavy rainfall on lives and property.
He averred that, in continuation of the preventive efforts against flooding by the State Government, work is almost completed on all the primary and secondary channels, stating that this is in addition to the efforts of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) that are being deployed around the State to undertake quick fix of clogged manholes or drains manually.
In his words: “For a coastal city like Lagos, let me remind everyone that once it rains consistently for a minimum of eight hours, we are bound to have flash floods caused by the increasing inability of effective discharge into the lagoon, which is brought about by a rise in the ocean level. This will automatically lock up all our drainages and would be unable to discharge until the water level goes down”.
“Flash floods are not peculiar to Lagos. It is the new wave in most coastal cities around the world, including those who have adopted the best of technological advancements to curtail flooding. Lagos is at the receiving end of three types of flooding, namely Coastal, Urban and River flooding because of the peculiarity of its location”, he stated.
While urging residents to adopt an attitudinal change by not dumping refuse in drainage channels and erecting structures on drainage alignments, Bello vowed that anyone caught violating the environmental laws of the State will be punished accordingly.
The Commissioner also emphasised that all residents owe it a duty to support the efforts of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration to ensure that heavy rainfall does not wreak havoc in any part of the metropolis.