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Lagos Govt apologises to residents displaced by flood

The Lagos State government has apologised to residents of the state displaced as a result of the intensive rainfall experienced on Wednesday.

The state’s Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, stated this during a syndicated interview programme across different television channels in Lagos on Thursday.

Wahab said that the state government had put in place resilient infrastructure which could withstand the effects of flash flooding.

He also sympathised with a resident of the state who reportedly lost a loved one as well as others who lost properties due to the rainfall.

He explained that Lagos state experienced about 10 hours of non stop rainfall from the early hours of Wednesday, causing flash floods in places including Egbeda, Iyana Oworo, Trade fair Road, Iyana Iba, amongst others.

He added that the flash floods receded in about two hours as a result of mitigation put in place.

“I want you to know that what happened yesterday was not as a result of not preparing but because nature only took its course;” Wahab said.

He said the sea level was very high while it rained and the effect was felt around areas such as Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki – all on the Peninsular Corridor where the storm water is designed to discharge into the lagoon.

Wahab advised residents in the Upland areas like Agege, Alimosho and Ikeja to be calm.

He stressed that the state government had built resilient infrastructure that will discharge storm water into the Creeks and Lagoons within a few hours after the rain subsides.

He added that some axis like Ogombo, Mobil Corridor of Victoria Island that hitherto experienced flash flood did not experience it on Wednesday as a result of improved drainage infrastructure and efforts of the government.

According to him, flash flood happens globally.

“What we can do as a government is to embrace and live with nature.

“Anywhere in the world that experiences long hours of rainfall like we did yesterday is bound to experience flooding otherwise called ponding elsewhere”.

He said the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) created to intervene in clearing black spot was on ground from the early hours of 4 :00 am.

He, however, noted that in spite the efforts of EFAG, the water level was high and it took a while for the storm water to discharge into the lagoon and ocean.

Wahab said the ministry has strengthened its drainage enforcement activities in ensuring due diligence concerning all drainage channels and restoring Right of Ways on all channels.

He added that the ministry would continue its intense work all year round clearing and cleaning major primary and secondary drainage channels.

“I will like to reiterate that Lagos is a coastal state and there will always be flash floods for few hours when it rains.

“We should know that the world has changed and everyone must ensure various measures to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming and other environmental issues confronting human existence,” Wahab said.

He said that residents also need to be more responsive.

He cited the example of a couple caught by a whistle blower discharging their waste inside the drainage while it rained yesterday at Surulere area.

He said that the house had been sealed and the culprits have been arrested and will be prosecuted according to the law.

He appealed to residents to desist from the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainages, roads and other unauthorised places.

The commissioner urged residents of the state to support government efforts by ensuring the regular clearing of drainages in front of their houses for free-flow of water.

He encouraged residents to become whistle blowers for government as the government cannot be everywhere.

“It is high time residents take ownership of all infrastructure and endeavour to give information to the government when the need arises,” Wahab said.

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Written by Nike

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