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Lagos Apologises To Residents For Dislocation Over Intensive Rainfall  

The Lagos State Government on Thursday apologised to residents for the dislocation experienced as a result of the intensive rainfalls that the state experienced on Wednesday.

The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab stated this during syndicated interview programmes across different Television channels in Lagos, stressing that the State Government had put in place resilient infrastructure which can withstand the effects of flash flooding.

The Commissioner also sympathised with a resident of the State who reportedly lost a loved one as well as others who lost properties due to the torrential rainfall experienced on Wednesday.

He explained that Lagos experienced about 10 hours of nonstop rainfall from the early hours of Wednesday causing flash floods in places like Egbeda, Iyana Oworo, Trade Fair Road and Iyana Iba, amongst others, adding that the flash floods receded in about two hours as a result of mitigation put in place.

“I want you to know that what happened yesterday was not as a result of not preparing but because nature only took its course”, he said.

He said the sea level was very high while it rained and the effect was felt around areas such as Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki all on the peninsula corridor where the stormwater is designed to discharge into the Lagoon.

Wahab advised Lagosians in the Upland areas like Agege, Alimosho, Ikeja to be calm, saying the government had built resilient infrastructure that would discharge stormwater into the Creeks and Lagoons within a few hours after the rain subsides.

He added that some axis like Ogombo, and Mobil corridor of Victoria Island that hitherto experienced flash floods did not experience it yesterday as a result of improved drainage infrastructure and efforts of the Government.

According to him, flash floods happen globally, what we can do as a government is to embrace and live with nature, saying “Anywhere in the world that experiences long hours of rainfall like we did yesterday is bound to experience flooding otherwise called ponding elsewhere”.

He said the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang (EFAG) created to intervene in clearing black spots was on ground from the early hours of 4 am but the water level was high and it took a while for the stormwater to discharge into the Lagoon and Ocean.

Wahab said the Ministry has strengthened its Drainage Enforcement activities in ensuring due diligence concerning all drainage channels and restoring the Right of Ways on all channels while it continued its intense all-year-round clearing and cleaning of major primary and secondary drainage channels.

“I would like to reiterate that Lagos is a coastal state and there will always be flash floods for a few hours when it rains; We should know that the world has changed and everyone must ensure various measures to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming and other environmental issues confronting human existence.

He said residents also need to be more responsive citing the example of a couple caught by a whistleblower discharging their waste inside the drainage while it rained yesterday in Surulere, saying that the house had been sealed and the culprits had been arrested and would be prosecuted according to the law.

He appealed to residents to desist from the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the drainages, roads and other unauthorised places and support government efforts by ensuring the regular clearing of drainages in front of their houses for free flow of water.

The Commissioner encouraged residents to become whistleblowers as the government cannot be everywhere, stressing that it is high time residents take ownership of all infrastructure and endeavour to give information to the government when the need arises.

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