Lagos Residents Grieve Over Flooding

Since the rainy season began in the second quarter of 2014, residents across Nigeria have been affected in one way or the other.

In Lagos State, flooding has been a great concern for the government and Lagosians especially those that reside in the Mainland.

While some areas in Lagos might not have experienced much flooding since the rainy season started, areas such as Aboru, Egbeda, Abesan, Ayobo, Abule Egba and Akowonjo road are some of the areas on the Mainland that have been ravaged by flooding.

Following the devastating effect of flooding in these areas, the Lagos state government, through the Ministry of Environment, a couple of months ago warned all residents in the state to be careful in their waste disposal and sanitation so as to help control the possible flood crisis that has been predicted by the Environmental and Climate Change Management Organization this year.

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According to a statement released by the Commissioner for Environment in Lagos, Mr Tunji Bello, a lot of settlement damage were expected in flood-prone areas in the western part of the Mainland due to the residual rainfall predicted in the months of September to mid November.

Just as predicted, residents in Lagos Mainland have been crying out on the state government to save them from the flood that has rendered some of them homeless.

Mr Dimowo Khaleel, 41, a teacher in Community Grammar School in Aboru complained about the state of the school during the rainy season.

He said: “Whenever it rains in this community, most schools go on compulsory holiday for about a week or two in other for the flood to dry up in their school premises.

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“This has been the situation every year but we are hoping that the state government will come to our aid this time around as we are about to resume another phase.”

A landlord in Akinyoola Street in Egbeda area in Lagos, Mr Akinyoola Gbenga, also shared his experience on the issue of flooding in the area during rainy season.

The 69-year-old man explained that, “Whenever it rained here, the whole street is usually flooded and my house is always filled up with flood such that every occupant would pack out for about a month.

“This has made it difficult for me to keep any tenant as most of them usually demand a refund when they discover that the area is flood-prone.”

Some residents on Lagos Island also complained about the effect of the flood on the sewage system and called on the government to help them address the issue.

Mr Afolayan Samuel,33, a businessman and a resident in Agarawu area of Lagos Island, complained bitterly on how all the gutters and open canals in the area are filled with waste and sewage.

“My area is usually in a pathetic state about this time every year.

The entire flood that comes from Tinubu, Isale-Eko, Idumota usually converges under the Adeniji bridge and the sewage that it carries would pile up which constitutes environmental threat to our health,” Afolayan complained.

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Commenting on the causes of flooding on the Island, Afolabi Adedeji, a civil Engineer, is of the opinion that those who constructed buildings along drainage routes and on flood plains are the major causes of flood in Lagos.

“Apart from this, many Nigerian roads don’t have proper drainage system which often time causes erosion that is supposed to go to the canal to flood the neighbourhood,”Adedeji stated.

Mrs Toye Okeowo, a staff from the Ministry of Environment in Lagos, however identified the attitude of Lagosians as the main factor that causes flood in Lagos.

She said: “Having worked with the Ministry of Environment for several years, I can confidently tell you that Lagos state is always ready to build a good drainage system in all flood prone areas within the state.

“This is what we have been doing in some areas like Water Alimosho, Command road in Ipaja, Oke Afa area and Bariga.

“The major problem we have is the residents. Most times during the rainy season, you will find some people disposing their refuse bin inside the gutter for the flood to wash away.

What do you expect to happen when this waste piles up and hangs on somewhere in transit?”

“Naturally, the gutters would block and the wastes would fill the streets causing stagnant flood in these areas.

“Go to Adeniji area and you will see several bags of waste tied up and thrown into the gutter. This is not encouraging.

“We keep telling people that they need to stop these unwholesome acts so that government efforts to bring an end to flooding in Lagos State would be realisable.”

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