The National Emergency Management Agency recently warned that about eight million residents of Lagos are at risk of flooding this year .
Findings reveal that residents of Idi-Araba are not just at risk of flooding but also at risk of a looming outbreak of water- borne diseases due to indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
Rainy season in Nigeria , especially in a coastal state like Lagos , usually comes with loads of ugly experiences .
Over the years, the rhythmic beats of raindrops have often been trailed by widespread devastation, unquantifiable losses and, in some instances , needless deaths .
Perilous flooding incidents have become the hallmark of the state , and with them are haunting stories of survival and life – altering experiences .
Even the upscale areas are not spared the dirge as they have several times been imprisoned in their homes by flooding.
Alarming flood alerts
For vulnerable Lagos residents in flood- prone areas, flood alerts from the authorities usually raise apprehension .
And that was the case recently , when the National Emergency Management Agency , warned that about eight million Lagos residents are prone to flood disaster .
Acting Coordinator, NEMA , Lagos Territorial Office , Ibrahim Farinloye, while issuing the warning , noted that four local government areas – Ibeju- Lekki, Lagos Mainland, Ikorodu and Mushin – have been identified as highly probable flood- prone plains .
He also said there are about 13 probable areas, adding that six out of them had been inundated earlier in the year .
He particularly bemoaned the deplorable state of the Mushin canal, noting that it could increase the risk of flooding in communities abutting it .
“ People should know we have this danger at hand and know what to do when these things happen .
Before heavy rain begins , there is a need to clear drainage channels .
“ If at this time , we have this challenge of water not being able to flow, definitely when the rain comes , the situation will escalate, ” said Farinloye.
Earlier , while giving the 2020 Annual Flood Outlook , the Director – General of NEMA , Muhammadu Mohammed , warned that 28 states are at high risk of flooding.
He also raised concerns that managing the flood amid the COVID – 19 pandemic would be quite daunting .
His warning followed the prediction by the Nigerian Hydrological Agency that 102 council areas in 28 states are at high risk of flood, while 275 council areas in the 36 states , including the FCT, are at moderate risk.
He said the remaining 397 fall within the low probable risk areas.
Mohammed said , “ 2020 is going to be a year of ‘ an incident within an incident’ , adding that with the country still battling COVID – 19 pandemic , managing a flood disaster will be a herculean task .
Recalling the terrible effect of flood across the country in 2019 , the NEMA DG , said records show that 130 , 934 people were affected, 126 killed , 48, 114 displaced and about 29, 356 houses destroyed .
He expressed concern that this year ’ s flood predictions could have devastating effects on agriculture , water resources , health and transport sectors , and called for all hands to be on deck to ensure the country adequately prepares to mitigate the impact .
However , what could particularly exacerbate flooding incidents in 30 to 33 Lagos communities is about 75 million cubic meters of water that will be gradually released from the Oyan Dam by the Ogun – Osun River Basin Authority .
This was made known in June by the state ’ s commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources , Tunji Bello , who urged residents to relocate to safe plains .
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“ In July , 5 million cubic meters will be released while by August , they will release 8 to 10 million cubic meters .
“ In September , it will be increased to 18 million cubic meters while in October , 23 million cubic meters will be released and that is the peak .
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