Lagos State Government, yesterday, asked residents in flood prone areas to relocate to higher grounds following the advisory by the management of Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority on release of water from the Oyan Dam in September.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, disclosed this while addressing journalists on the preparedness for heavy rainfalls, which will resume in September and the release of water from the Oyan Dam.
He, however, reassured residents that irrespective of the new rainfall advisory issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Services (NIMET) on flash flooding, adequate measures are in place to contain any eventuality.
Bello said the capacity of primary and secondary drains have been enhanced through consistent cleaning and clearing to contain run offs.
According to him, “a practical demonstration of our preparedness was the over-10-hour rainfall experienced in Lagos on July 19, which resulted in flooding that submerged some houses and vehicles, especially in Marina, but which had disappeared the next morning, which was some eight to 10 hours after.”
He explained that the same level of preparedness is what the state had in store for the advisory by the management of Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority on release of water from the Oyan Dam in September.
He informed that Lagos State would maintain the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, which had ensured steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream communities.
He identified residents of the areas, especially those by the river banks like Agiliti, Ajegunle, Isheri North, Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota and Shibiri to bear this in mind.
“All residents of the listed areas must be alert to relocate to higher grounds to save their lives and properties when water is released by Oyan Dam authorities. For such people, they can always return to their abode when the water subsides.
“Let me give an assurance to all residents that the proactive stance of the ministry has always been “Be ready always.” We have always treated the nine months of March to November as peak months of rainfall in our preparations. That is why we can never be caught napping,” Bello assured.
Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Lekan Shodeinde, urged residents to support government’s efforts through regular cleaning of the drainages in front of their houses.
He said the state was not unmindful of its statutory duties at any point in time.