Exclusive: Lagos Commissioner Reveals Plan To Combat Flood

Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho
Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho

Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub has over the years been exposed to environmental hardship as a result of frequent flooding during rainy seasons. Almost every time it rains in the state, residents and other occupants are compelled to face the horrendous effect of floods which often–paralyses economic activities, and at the same time, submerges houses, and farmlands.

In view of past events during rainy seasons, it wouldn’t be erroneous to assert that the major economic centre of the country, profiles a high proportion of people living in flood-prone places.

Floods are environmental menace everyone in the state is familiar with. Sadly, the consequences are not only experienced by mainland dwellers, the Island dwellers also share in the pain.

Recent flooding events in Lagos

In October last year (2019), no fewer than six persons were killed as flood submerged some communities in the state.

God First, Ajegunle and Itowolo communities in the Ikosi-Isheri and Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Areas of Lagos, were submerged by flood, during which some persons lost their lives, while others lost their valuable properties.

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Prior to the October flood incident, many vehicles, tricycles, and motorcycles were covered in flood at Mushin, Agege Motor Road, following an early morning rain. 

The heavy downpour resorted to serious gridlock in the state, as the flood stretched from the popular Ojuwoye Market to Idi-Oro and to Moshalashi bus-stop.

Major cause of the floods

Unmask NG visited some parts of Lagos in a bid to examine the cause of the flood in Lagos.

During the visits, it was observed that poor drainage systems, and indiscriminate dumping of wastes are the primary reasons for the floods often experienced in the state.

Careful observation by Unmask NG has it that most of the drainage systems in Lagos are blocked, as a result of trash indiscriminately disposed in them, which creates a stagnant pool of water anytime it rains.

Is the Lagos government prepared?

Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, expressed the incumbent administration’s readiness to curtail the long-term flood menace disturbing the state.

 Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho
Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotosho

While advising Lagos residents to be mindful of their waste disposal, Omotoso said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is making progress in its commitment to stop flooding in the state.

He said, “We have started addressing the issue of flood in the state, and the process of combating it which we have already commenced will last till April. By then, you are going to see a lot of work regarding the drainage systems in Lagos and the issue of floods, because these are things that have been left unattended to for four years.”

The commissioner pleaded with Lagos residents to be mindful of their environment, by taking care of it and properly disposing of their waste.

“Lagosians should please own the environment. They should know that the environment has been given to us by God for us to take care of, for the sake of the forthcoming generations. They should stop dumping refuse in gutters, they should stop littering everywhere with plastics. They should stop dumping wastes on road sides.

“Lagosians should properly dispose their waste in baskets; they should dispose the waste in containers, visibly positioned for waste management agency officials,” Omotoso told Unmask NG.

He however lamented that most of the environmental challenges in Lagos are man-made, saying until individuals own up to themselves and start taking responsibilities for their environments, flooding will remain a topic of discussion in the public domain.

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