Prepare For Heavier Rains, Lagos Warns Residents

•Tunji Bello

•Tunji Bello, commissioner for environment

Kazeem Ugbodaga

As the rains keep falling almost everyday in Lagos, the State Government has alerted residents of the state to expect heavier rainfall accompanied with thunderstorms.

The government said it became necessary to alert Lagosians to prepare for it.

Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello said “Lagosians should be prepared for rains of high intensity, which is to be accompanied with occasional thunderstorm, but we advise our people not to panic but if possible stay off the roads when they don’t have a very serious cause to do so, in order not to be caught in the traffic gridlock.

“As we are in the peak of the rainy season, Lagosians must have noticed that it has been raining heavily across the state in the last four weeks while we must have also noticed occasional flash flood on some roads around the state.

“This is as a result of the rains of high intensity which has greatly slowed down the percolation rate of storm water generated and the high saturation level of the soil. There is the need to explain that what we are experiencing is one of the peculiarities of a coastal city like Lagos, where it is normal to have storm water on the road whenever it rains consistently.

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“Whenever it rains heavily across the state, this naturally leads to a rise in the lagoon and ocean, which automatically locks up all the canals in the state, and until the water in the ocean and lagoon recedes, that is when our canals can discharge into theses water bodies. The after-effect is that it takes a long time before water discharges into the Lagoon as well as the time it eliminates all backflows,” he explained.

Bello said it is pertinent to explain that water on the road after continuous rainfall was not flooding, but flash flood which disappears in a matter of time as canals in the state were already functional.

“In view of this therefore, Lagosians are advised not to panic but go about their normal business activities as our canals are regularly cleaned and maintained to handle storm water generated during the rains.

“Lagosians are also assured that we are intensifying our mid rain cleaning exercise in order to absorb storm water generated during this period,” he said.

The Commissioner assured that all government’s drainage engineers and attendants were working round the clock to ensure that canals were regularly cleaned and maintained in order to free them from all blockages.

He urged the Community Development Associations/Resident Associations to relate effectively with Drainage Maintenance Officers/Drainage Resident Engineers who had been posted to all the 57 Local Governments/Council Development Areas across the state, whenever the need arose.