2nd July, 2012
By Kazeem Ugbodaga
As the rains persist, the Lagos State Government has asked over 10 flood-prone communities in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria to vacate their areas for two weeks as they may be swept away by rampaging flood.
The government said two weeks of devastating rain was still being expected and that the affected communities should leave their areas for now to prevent loss of lives and property as the intensity of the rain would increase, accompanied with thunderstorm.
The communities are Owode, Badiya, Aboru, Iwaya, Arowojobe in Maryland , Ajegunle Elede, some parts of Eti-Osa, among others.
“Lagosians residing in low line areas particularly along lagoons, drainage channels, river courses and wetlands of the state are advised to vacate their present residence and relocate upland within the next two weeks which is the peak period of this year’s rainy season in order to avoid discomfort, loss of lives and property,” said Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Tunji Bello in a statement. He said the advise became necessary because the state would still witness intense rainfall within the next two weeks.
“The coming rains are unusual, while with normal rains they need not relocate. Since March till now, rain fell across the state with no serious flooding incidences recorded, thanks a lot to our effort. The reality of today is that we are now in the season of unusual rains globally with similar experiences happening in the United Kingdom, US, Japan and Bangladesh.
“The idea of relocation is a global practice peculiar to developed nations of the world in anticipation of expected natural disasters like, hurricane, typhoons, heavy rains, etc. which is common to countries like the United States, Japan, etc, while residents of affected areas relocate back to their original homes when the natural occurrences subside.
“In line with this global practice, Lagosians who reside along low line areas are therefore advised to relocate to upland in order to avoid further discomfort. This is in consonance with our earlier warning in the year,” he said.
Bello sympathised with residents who might have experienced any discomfort during this period, while urging Lagosians not to panic during this period as the government had intensified its mid-rain cleaning exercise and would continue to put in place measures that would reduce the incidence of flooding in the state.
The commissioner recalled that Lagos had recorded several rainfall since the beginning of the year without any severe consequences, but explained that in cases of severe and intense rainfall of over 10 hours, the likelihood of discomfort was very high as the lagoon would have risen, therefore making it impossible for the discharge of storm water and thus leading to a backflow which might likely result in flooding. “We however advise against panic measures as the water will disappear because all our drainage channels are working, as we have seen so far. Government will not shirk in its social responsibility to the people of the state. People should desist from habits that could lead to flooding, like dumping of waste into drainages as well as desist from building along drainage channels.”