… Says Residual Water on Coastline Will Recede Soon

The State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab on Friday allayed the fears of residents along the Ogun-Osun river bank following reports of flooding experienced in the areas with the assurance of the preparedness of the State to contain any eventuality that may arise with the intensity of the flow of the run-off water from upland into Lagos.

Wahab, who made the remark while fielding questions from newsmen during a press briefing on the recent flooding situation along the basin of the Ogun River and lagoon coastline held at the Conference Room of the Ministry, said it has become important that homeowners within these areas relocate immediately to higher grounds.

The Commissioner sympathised with the affected residents and reassured them that the government is committed to managing the flooding situation to ensure the safety of lives and properties. 

He stated that from the statistics issued by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, the total amount of rainfall recorded from January to October 15 of 2023 indicates that most of the expected rainfall in the area has fallen; Likewise, the volume of water released from January to October 15, 2023, is more than the average synthesised Annual Flow Volume of 1770 Mcm against a Gross Storage of 2,274.0Mcm. 

Wahab said the height of the Oyan Dam reservoir has significantly dropped from 3.67 m on the 6th October to 1.02 m on the 14th October, adding that this is in addition to 203.4 mm of rainfall in July, 174.9 mm in August, 362.6 mm of rainfall in September and 170.8 mm in October 2023.

He mentioned that as of the 15th of October, the peak of the expected rainfall in October has already been experienced and the inflow from the upstream is reducing gradually, saying this will eventually abate all issues of flooding that may be experienced in the upstream.

He said what was being experienced in Lagos presently is a result of the residual water in the catchment of Ogun River which will recede with time; the rise in sea level has also reduced the inflow into the lagoon.

He added that the Government has been responsive to the situation with the step-up of its multifaceted approach to mitigate the effects of the flooding. He said the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) under the Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry is working consistently on black spots and intervention of some critical tertiary drains to enable them to discharge efficiently and act as retention basins.

The Commissioner averred that the State Government remained committed to all-year-round drainage maintenance, reclaiming drainage Right of Way, and ensuring that the waterways are clean.

It will also ensure the dredging of primary and secondary channels/collectors in the State, the expansion of existing drainage channels to contain more stormwater as well and the appointment of Resident Engineers/Drainage Maintenance Officers to oversee drainage matters in all the LG/LCDAs and report any additional unforeseen weather conditions.

Wahab also used the opportunity to educate people about global warming which had brought about climate changes in the world, adding that other countries have also been affected, citing the United States and Germany as examples that have experienced flooding in recent times.   

He appealed to residents to report cases of drainage blockages, and dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to Resident Engineers offices Statewide.

In his remarks the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu stated that the effort to contain flood remains the responsibility of all, enjoining Lagosians to collaborate with the Government by cleaning the drainages in their frontages and desisting from Indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places. 

He further urged Lagosians to report all cases of drainage blockages, and dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorised places to the  Resident Engineers, saying by so doing they are complimenting the State Government efforts so that consolidations can be made on the gains of the 2023 rainy season.

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde said the affected areas along the Ogun Osun River are known to be depressed and on the natural path of the stormwater, adding that with the various interventions being put in place residents in the area are assured that in a matter of days, the water will recede.

He said due to urbanisation and human alteration the natural flow of rainwater as designed by God has been changed, saying if not altered some amount of rainfall should drop on green vegetation and some absorbed into the ground while about 30 percent of rainwater should end up in the drains eventually.  

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