Monday 10 July 2017

The Recurring Crisis of Lagos Island Flood

Image result for lekki flood
Year in, year out, the Island areas such as Lekki, Ajah, VGC experience the same fate of flooding. It has indeed become an annual trend where residents only await its happening. This year, it has happened again but the only difference is that it was totally unexpected at this time of the year. One major cause is the rise in sea levels due to climate change.

The land reclamation of waterfronts the Lagos state government has embarked on has further increased the chances of heavy flooding in these areas. Considering the lack of drainage in some major areas and the blockage of the ones available have also contributed to these menace.

It is indeed obvious that little or no EIA was carried out to determine and forecast possible outcomes of disasters such as this and this goes to further cement the reactive instead of proactive stance we tend to always have on major national issues.

The state government through the commissioner on inspecting the affected areas and assuring residents to remain calm as the government seeks out solutions to the crisis. He attributed the cause to high tide of the lagoon and the slow flow of rainfall water from drainage channels. He also encouraged the residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse as this poses great hazards to the inhabitants of the area.

“We are on top of the situation. The Government is concerned by the recent occurrence of flooding in some parts of Victoria Island, Lekki, Oniru and its environs and our emergency lines 112 and 767 are open 24/7 for residents to report any emergency situation,” he said.
                            Image result for lekki flood

“The lagoon is swollen up, there is high tide, so it would lock on our outfalls, the water would not recede or go into the lagoon as fast as it used to be, so that’s one of the main reason why we are having flooding all over the place and coupled with our own man made problems such as people blocking the drainage channels, people even building on drainage channels, that’s what has also been causing all these problems.
“That is a criminal thing to do, it is not good, their actions can lead to loss of lives and definitely to damage of properties, so they should stop it because it would affect some people adversely.
“You do not need to dump refuse in drainages, eventually we would come to pick them up and with our improved services through the reforms that we are carrying out, there would not be anything like that, we would be evacuating solid waste faster than we have done,” 
“Like we have been telling them, if the rain still persist, please don’t go out of your homes, except you are living by the coast or by the low line. If you are one of those, you have to move upland, move away from the coast until the rain recedes. But if you are living upland and it’s raining persistently and it’s not necessary or compulsory for you to go out, please stay indoors.
If you also have contact with flood water, wash your hands always, whatever has been touched by the flood water should not be eaten, it’s important,” the commissioner further said.
“This is a transition period, most importantly it’s not that the reforms have taken so long, you need to plan very well so that you don’t plan to fail. We are making sure that when we start, we don’t hope to fail, we hope to give our people a world class service in solid waste management, that’s what we are planning for and we need to take our time to do that and give Lagosians good service. It would commence, it would succeed and it would give us a better way of managing our solid waste here”, he said.
                                        Image result for lekki flood
“I want to tell our people, no pain, no gain. To embark on any kind of reform is always very tedious, as a government the priority is to see these reforms through and to make our people live better. Our refuse should not be a disgrace to us, it should be a resource and that’s what we intend to pursue,” 
We must remember the issue at hand will likely occur if necessary measures are not taken in time to curb its impact. Businesses have shut down, people were and are still stranded in their homes, the rainfall is still likely to continue for the next few weeks. Whatever measures are to be taken must be done as fast as possible but most of all, we should do everything possible to guard against this from happening next year.
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