More floods imminent in Lagos, other states – FG
Federal Government has warned that states like Lagos, River, Cross River amongst others should expect floods. This is due to the late commencement of the rains, the monsoon wind that usually brings heavy rain in the West African coast, and the rising sea levels due to the melting of glacier in the polar region.
In the latest flood alert advice prepared by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for the country, the Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, stated that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, a parastatal of the ministry, had earlier come out with the flood outlook for the country on June 13, 2017.
Adamu stated that approximately 30 states and over 100 local government areas were categorised as high flood risk areas and therefore should expect flooding.
He said, “In the coastal areas, including Lagos, Port Harcourt and Calabar, possible coastal flooding in these places were mentioned in the NlHSA’s flood outlook. However, the case of Lagos State is unique, because it is very low-lying and there is reclamation of wetlands, which ordinarily should be buffers for floods.
“In addition, the rapid urbanisation of the Lagos coastal areas has not been matched with robust drainage provisions as well as adequate seawalls/barriers along the sea stretch.
“It is also important to mention that the monsoon wind (a strong prevailing wind that brings rain), which usually arrives the West African coast around June 22 to September/October, brings in a lot of rain to the land, coupled with the sea rise due to the melting of the glacier in the polar region.”
The minister added, “All these are definitely increasing the amount of water in the low-lying coastal areas of Lagos State. Worthy of note is the fact that the rains did not start early this year, thereby possibly causing long duration torrential downpour and causing unexpected urban/flash floods in areas with non-existing or inadequate drainage systems in the country.”
Adamu stated that effective and adequate drainage systems could reduce the urban/flash flood or overflow due to sustained rainfall in the urban cities or semi urban areas.
He said people must desist from dumping refuse into drainages which will block and render the facility useless also increasing the possibility of flooding during heavy rainfall. He said people in riverine areas should not build on flood plains as it is an extension of the river space.
He suggested that the local governments do more in enforcing environmental laws/ town planning guidelines.
The minister called for the construction of more reservoirs/dams to harness and harvest the excess water for various uses in agriculture, industry and power.
He said states and local governments should embark on the creation of multipurpose artificial lakes.
Meanwhile, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has approved the release of N1.6bn from the Ecological Fund to 16 states affected by the recent flooding witnessed across the country.
Some of these states include Edo, Sokoto, Ekiti, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Oyo and Lagos, among others.