Saturday, 20 August 2016

Shun acts that cause flooding, commissioner pleads with Lagos residents

The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, has appealed to Lagos residents to desist from acts that could lead to flooding. This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Mr Tunde Awobiyi in Lagos on Saturday.

                                                                 




 Adejare said the plea was the fall out of the ministry’s review of 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions and its socio-conomic implications for Lagos State. “Acts such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, clogging drains with silt or construction materials, erecting structures within and around drainage right of way and setbacks.

“Residents should report cases of blockages, dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to our resident engineers. “The state government is doing everything possible to ensure that the reports of flooding in other parts of the country and the adverse weather predictions by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA) do not impact negatively on the state.’’ he said. According to him, the Lagos state has adopted “Sustainability of a flood-free Environment’’ as its logo for 2016. He added that irrespective of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, the state was prepared for the worst scenarios.

 Adejare said that its synergy with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority had led to mutual control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan and Ikere Gorge Dams. “The low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities in Lagos State are also being closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding.

 “The Ogun River is particularly monitored to ensure that the maximum level of 3.0 metre above sea level is not achieved before the alarm of flooding is raised. “Forecast for Ikeja, Ikorodu, Ikotun, Iyana Ipaja, Kosofe, Marina, Ojo, Oshodi, Somolu, Surulere, Yaba and Lagos Island confirmed onset date ranges between March 28 and April 1, while the season ending is between Dec. 2 and Dec. 5, 2016. “Lagos State will experience a rainy season of between 248 and 253 days and Maximum Annual Rainfall of 1,857mm,’’he said. According to him, the State has embarked on massive clearing and dredging of primary and secondary channels/collectors and expansion of existing drainage channels to contain storm water since 2015.

The commissioner said the state also lined many earth channels to ensure flow efficienc, and strengthened its resident engineers/drainage maintenance officers to oversee drainage matters in the local government areas. He said the government was also regularly monitoring and undertaking oversights of storm water. Adejare urged residents of flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers at Ikorodu, Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota and Shibiri, to be ready to relocate when the need arose.

 He said that government would notify such residents at the appropriate time. NAN reports that NiMet and NIHSA had warned that this year’s flooding would be higher than that of 2015 in their 2016 Annual Flood Outlook. The predictions indicated that coastal cities such as Lagos would experience flooding, sea-level rise and tidal surges.

They named Ogun- Osun as one of the River Basins which would experience flooding and enjoined the communities in the adjoining plains to keep safe distances. Adejare said that the predictions of the agencies were valuable. He added that those predictions were vital weather and early warning tools for planners, decision makers and business operators.