The Lagos State government has warned residents to be prepared for days of extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flash flooding, similar to that of 2021.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, gave the advice in Alausa Ikeja, during a news briefing on the Seasonal Climate Prediction for Lagos State by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET.
The Seasonal Climate Prediction indicates that rain will start in Lagos between 17th March and 6th April, 2022 at the latest while the cessation dates range between 30th November and 5th December 2022 and the the Maximum Annual Rainfall amount is predicted to be 1,750mm.
NiMET had also forecast that recent increasing frequency of extreme weather events will continue this year.
Mr Bello however urged Lagosians not to panic at the presence of heavy rainfall as every arrangements have been put in place by the State government to ensure adequate protection of lives and properties during the expected flash flooding.
“It is natural to have flash floods which will percolate or drain off quickly, as is the case in different parts of the world.
It is only when flood remains on the roads several hours after the cessation of the rains that one can report that flooding has occurred. As usual, i therefore wish to plead with the media to be more circumspect in the manner they report issue of flash flooding with banner headliners that could create panic.The Ministry has embarked on an all-year-round drainage maintenance for effective and efficient flood control, in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system. He said
According to Mr Bello, another contributory factor to flooding is Lagoon level rise. Anytime there is high tidal movement, it may “lock up” the discharge points of drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge. Such occurrences also cause backflows, resulting to flooding. But as soon as the lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately discharge and our roads will be free.
The Commissioner called for caution as strong winds are expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall, but stated that to forestall the incidences of collapse of telecommunication masts, occasioned by high velocity of the wind, the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency would as usual be on the alert to ensure that stakeholders comply with safety regulations.
He explained that the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority was being maintained to regulate the periodic discharge of water from the river and advised residents in the low-lying areas such as Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities to be on the lookout for the annual heavy flooding.
The Commissioner said “we will not relent in our enlightenment efforts to sensitize and advise communities in coastal and low-lying wetland areas of the State, to move upland to avert needless loss of lives and property, when the need arises. We will also continue to protect our water bodies from indiscriminate discharge of solid waste as well as erection of illegal structures along the drainage alignment/setback.
It is also important to mention the indiscriminate dumping of plastic wastes into the drains which also leads to flooding. Each time our men, especially operatives of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) clear the drains what they evacuate are different plastics wastes and Styrofoam which are all non bio-degradeable”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage, Mr Joe Igbokwe and the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr Lekan Shodeinde, who were also at the news briefing explained that though the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang, is posed to respond during heavy flooding, residents should desist from harmful environmental activities which may lead to the unexpected.