Lagos calls for relocation, as lagoon-level rises



FOLLOWING the heavy downpour yesterday morning and a hint that the water table has risen due to high rainfall, thereby posing a risk to residents in low line areas, the Lagos State Government has advised residents living in flood-prone areas to relocate for the time being.

Areas on the red alert are Ajegunle, Owode-Onirin axis, Owode-Elelede, Kuramo beach, Alpha beach, Okun-Mapo, Okun Ajah, Mende-Maryland, Ijora-Badia and Iwaya. Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Ayodeji Adenekan, said yesterday that the rain that begun since March accounted for the appreciable rise in water level of the lagoons and rivers, resulting in back-flow into adjoining low line areas.

This, he noted, had also the various channels and drains unable to discharge. He noted that Lagos, as a coastal state, is susceptible to flash flood anytime it rains with high intensity and that residents of low line areas are especially prone to the back flow effect.

“People living in low line areas are vulnerable to flooding because the low line areas are natural flood plains which ought not be converted to residential abodes. However, we expect the water to recede with time,” he said.

In the meantime, Adenekan urged those residing along flood plains, low line areas and other coastlines to be extremely careful and possibly vacate their residences temporarily to higher grounds once they notice gradual accumulation of rising water, as the state was not ready to lose any life during the rainy period.

He further assured that primary and secondary channels in the state were being maintained and dredged to contain flood-related challenges that might occur, while reiterating that Lagosians should not panic whenever it rains, as they would start to experience accumulated water in some parts of the roads and highways.

Nevertheless, they must be safety-conscious during this period and “avoid going out during the rains except only when it is absolutely necessary, be conscious when driving and not over speed, ensure that your vehicles are in good condition.

” Also, “avoid driving through flooded areas as it might be difficult to ascertain its depth; and plan your journey before going out, and avoid unnecessary outings.”

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