8th October, 2010
Following the massive flooding in Ajegunle area of Ikorodu, Lagos State, South West ofÂ Nigeria, the Lagos State Government has placed on alert emergency agencies to respond toÂ any disaster in the area.
The Ogun River has overflown its banks after the Ogun-Oshun River Basin DevelopmentÂ Authority released water from the Oyan Dam into the river.
About nine communities in Ajegunle abutting the Ogun River have been massively flooded asÂ houses and public places have been taken over by water.
Canoes and boats are now means of transporting people living in the area from one placeÂ to another, yet, the residents said they were not ready to evacuate the area and thatÂ they could cope with the incident.
There are palpable fears that the flood might be disastrous and lead to untoldÂ outbreakÂ of epidemics.
To ensure that no life is lost, the state government has drafted the officials of theÂ Lagos State Ambulance Services, LASAMBUS and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency,Â LASEMA to the area to keep 24-hour surveillance in order to nip any disaster in the bud.
General Manager, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu told P.M.NEWS that Lagos was on top ofÂ the situation and that it was prepared to nip in the bud any unforeseen disaster.
According to him, the communities had refused to move, saying they could cope with theÂ current problem they were facing, adding that if the people refused to move, they couldÂ not be forced to do so.
â€œWe have gone there to create awareness about epidemics that may break out as a result ofÂ the presence of water in the area.Â Â Our people are not displaced but we are watchingÂ critically. My men are visiting the scene and are taking measures to ensure that thatÂ there is safety if the water level is high.Â Â If the people are displaced, we have aÂ relief camp to take them to.Â The camp can accommodate between 500 to 1,000 people,â€ heÂ said.
Oke-Osanyintolu added that â€œright now, we are watching; we have talked to their leaders.Â Â Â We are monitoring and carrying out campaign about the possibility of an outbreak ofÂ cholera.
â€œWhen the people are saying that they donâ€™t want to move, what do you do?Â When it getsÂ to a stage to be associated with mortality and morbidity, we will take action.â€Â Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire had also implored residents to beÂ vigilant and report any threat for quick response, adding that the situation was beingÂ closely monitored, while all emergency service providers have been put on the alert.TheÂ Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority had in a letterÂ to the Lagos StateÂ Government signed by the Deputy Director, Operations and Maintenance, Engr. Akin Soyemi,Â solicited the assistance of the state government in creating awareness and sensitisingÂ members of the public in Lagos State, especially those along the banks of the Ogun RiverÂ that as a result of increase in rainfall in recent weeks, the reservoir level at Oyan DamÂ has been increasing steadily and that there was the need to release part of the waterÂ into Ogun River.