The Lagos State Government has sent 2020 Oyan dam release notification to residents, particularly those living close to banks of Ogun River to prepare ahead, saying more water would be released from the dam in October, a development it claimed would not be unconnected to projected heavy rainfall.
It explained that 23 million cubic meters of water would be released in October, which is the peak of the rainfall season, and that measures are being put in place by the government to ensure safety of residents by adopting staggered release of the water.
The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, said that the release from the Oyan Dam, which would be the highest so far was due to intensive rainfall over the past few days and was expected to peak in October.
Through a statement released to newsmen yesterday, Bello hinted that data provided by Nigerian Hydrological Services indicated that the months of July, August, September, and October, as JASO months, characterized by heavy rainfall, flooding, and flood disasters in most parts of the country and thus it was pertinent for resident to prepare ahead for the planned release.
He advised residents of Agboyi-Ketu, Owode Onirin, Isheri, Ajegunle, Agiliti, Kara, Majidun, and all areas bordering rivers and sea in Lagos to be wary of the staggered release, adding that by November, a reduced release of 11million cubic meters would be effected as rainfall declines and that government would intensify measures to mitigate effect of heavy rainfall on lives and property.
Part of preventive measures being taken to prevent flooding across the state, Bello said, was ongoing work on all primary and secondary channels which was nearing completion, and that Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs (EFAG) are being deployed to undertake quick fix of clogged manholes and drains manually across the state.
“For a coastal city like Lagos, let me remind everyone that once it rains consistently for a minimum of eight hours, we are bound to have flash floods caused by the increasing inability of effective discharge into the lagoon, which is brought about by a rise in the ocean level. This will automatically lock up all our drainages and would be unable to discharge until the water level goes down.
“Flash floods are not peculiar to Lagos. It is the new wave in most coastal cities around the world, including those who have adopted the best of technological advancements to curtail flooding. Lagos is at the receiving end of three types of flooding, namely Coastal, Urban, and River flooding because of peculiarity of its location,” he stated.
While urging residents to adopt an attitudinal change by not dumping refuse in drainage channels and erecting structures on drainage alignments, Bello stressed that anyone caught violating environmental laws of the state would be punished accordingly.