By Nudoiba Ojen
Lagos State Government on Sunday alerted residents especially those in the downstream of the Ogun River of the likelihood of experiencing flood from this month and relocate to safe areas.
This followed the release of the updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast for Flood Control by the Ogun -Osun River Basin Authority effective September and the high rainfall being experienced as predicted.
A statement by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources in Lagos, Engr Lekan Shodeinde, said the affected catchment areas include Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan and Lekki-Ajah axis.
Shodeinde, who said the utmost concern of the state government was safety of lives and properties of residents, urged residents and property owners in the listed areas to be ready to move upland when the water level rises showing signs of flooding just as it is advisable to all residents across the state.
He also extended his appeal to all residents across the state to be wary of the fact that “Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash flood and it is expedient for them to cooperate with the state government in ensuring the success of measures put in place including the early warning alert to mitigate the effects of flash flooding”.
On the catchment areas, quoting the updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast signed by the managing director of the Ogun- Oshun River Basin Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu”, Shodeinde said that comparatively, the total amount of rainfall recorded from January to August 2023 (1,128.6mm) is higher than that of January to August of the year 2021 (713.4mm) & 2022 (848.1mm).
He said comparatively, a total of 968.6mm was recorded as amount of rainfall for the 12 months of 2021, just as a total of 1,140 mm was the recorded amount of rainfall during the 12 months of 2022, while in the first 8 months of 2023, a quantum of 1,128.6mm has already been recorded which means when the remaining four months in the year is factored in’, a very high intensity of rainfall would be recorded for the whole year.
“When some of the other figures released by the Ogun- Oshun River Basin Authority is further scrutinized for volume of water spilled, it shows that for the 12 months of 2021, 1,102mcm was spilled, while for the 12 months of 2022, a total of 1,475.6 mcm was spilled.
“While in the first eight months of this year, a total of 1,393,1mcm has already been spilled by the River Basin Authority pointing in the direction that more water will be released when factored with the remaining four months in 2023,” explain, he said.
The PS stated that the water levels of all tributaries including the Oyan Dam are rising and is one of the contributory factors to the possibility of the likely flooding at downstream flow of Ogun River.
Shodeinde said that the same applies to all the channels and tributaries that discharges into the lagoon which may experience tidal lock and flow back because of the high water level that prevent discharges, leading to flash flooding.