Lagos State government has urged communities on the fringe of the Ogun River to relocate immediately, warning that there could be heavy flooding following heavy rainfall and the opening of the Oyan dam by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority.
The State’s Ministry of Environment in a statement signed by the Commissioner, Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, listed the areas likely to be affected to include Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan, Lekki-Ajah and the Lagos Lagoon boundaries.
Wahab, said following the incidence of flooding already being experienced in the neighbourhood of Ajegunle, Kara, the flooding was likely to become worse.
The Commissioner said an alert issued by the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority on the operation of Ouan Dam had advised all residents of the Ogun River bank to relocate immediately.
The alert showed rainfall and average water released monthly for years 2021, 2022 and 2023 till mid October, warning of possible inundation by flooding which was already happening.
Wahab, said comparatively with year 2021, total rainfall was 969mm while for 2022, it was 1,140mm, saying when compared with the first 10 months of this year, rainfall amounted to 1,410.1mm which was a significant rise.
In addition, for the amount of water spilled by the River Basin Authority for the whole of 2021, it amounted to 1,140mcm, while for 2022, the amount of water spilled was slightly higher at 1,475.6mcm while for the 10 months of this year, a very significant 2,274 has been released with 532.2mcm and 348.7mcm released in September and October respectfully.
According to the statistical table released by the River Basin Authority, the amount of rainfall recorded from January to October 2023 (1,410.0mm) indicated that most of the rainfall in the area had fallen.
Likewise, the volume of water released from January to October 15, 2023, was more than the average synthesised Annual Flow volume of 1770Mcm against a Gross Storage of 27+90Mcm.
He stated that the utmost concern of the state government was safety of lives and properties of residents, which he said explained the urgent call for relocation by those affected, adding that safety of lives and properties was paramount.
Wahab added that the alert became necessary because there was much water to be expected in October 2023, in addition to the heavy downpours usually associated with the months of September and December every year along Ogun River Basin and other related predictions and warning from Nigeria Metrological Services (NIMET), Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)and other related Agencies.