28th February, 2011
The Lagos State Government has alerted residents of Lagos State, South West Nigeria to expect heavy rainfall this year and warned residents living in flood-prone areas to leave in their own interest.
General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu told PM NEWS that experts had predicted that there would be heavy rainfall in Lagos State this year and that there was the need to be prepared.
Oke-Osanyintolu said the state government has equipped the agency to handle with any form of disaster that might occur as a result of massive rainfall to be expected in the state.
He disclosed that the government was already building another relief camp that could accommodate 1,000 people at a time and that people who might be displaced as a result of heavy rains would be relocated to the camp.
According to him, the Agbowa Relief Camp could only accommodate 500 people, saying that â€œwe have learnt our lesson from what happened at Agbowa because the camp is small.Â The new camp is big enough.
â€œThere has been forecast about of heavy rains this year in Lagos State and as disaster manager, we have started preparing. We are building another relief camp at Igando.Â We are not resting on our oars.â€
â€œPeople living in flood-prone areas should leave so as to avert disasters and destruction of lives and properties.Â Safety should be the paramount thing,â€ he stated.
Oke-Osanyintolu urged residents of Ajegunle, Agility and other flood-prone areas not to be adamant but quit the areas because the consequence might be grave.
â€œWhat is happening now is part of the climate change we are experiencing.Â The rains will be heavy.Â The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, is collaborating with us to avert disaster.
Delivering a lecture last week at a climate change workshop for teachers and principals in Lagos State titled: Overview of the Causes and Impact of Climate Change, Prof. Babajide Alo of the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos stated that as useful as greenhouse gases were, they could be dangerous to the environment if they were not available in the right amount that the earth needed.
â€œGlobal warming can be described as the greatest threat facing humanity.Â The weather has been funny.Â Seasons have been fairly unpredictable.Â Ocean level is rising and breaking its boundaries, causing landslides and massive flooding.
â€œIt is important that our country and Lagos State in particular take issues related to vulnerabilities and the negative effects of climate change seriously.Â Mitigative, adaptive or reversal strategies can only be established and made to work by government.â€
Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire warned that if proactive steps were not taken to mitigate the impact of climate change, the effect would be more than imagined.