This guys built or acquired their dream houses, little did they know that flood will soon quickly flow towards their domain and make everything a living hell for them. Pray this doesn't come around your area if you have an heart.
For almost two weeks, many states in the country have experienced severe flooding as a result of a combination of regular rainfall and deluge of water from Cameroun-owned Lagdo Dam. SAMUEL AWOYINFA and ETIM EKPIMAH examine the challenge in the light of what the affected state governments are doing to mitigate the problem
The sight that confronts the world reminds one of the biblical Noah’s flood, which submerged everything in its wake. But only him and his family survived the deluge with his Ark.
In many states of the federation, the state governments are exasperated, what with the floods that ravage their domains, carrying off humans, animals and property worth billions of naira.
Many people have been displaced, prices of foodstuffs have gone to the roof, while farmlands have been washed off.
In some cases, many people were trapped in their homes in the wake of the floods, and needed assistance to come out of their houses that were gradually submerged in waters.
Lagos being a coastal city could be said to have been spared the magnitude of flooding being experienced by other states this year. Apart from the ocean surge with mild incidents at Kuramo Beach, the storm water, had not overflowed into roads and buildings. Arguably, with a population of about 18 million people, the consequence of such devastation could be best imagined.
While a few areas in Lagos have experienced normal annual flooding, the state has however, been lucky as it has not witnessed the kind of disaster in states such as Kogi, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom etc have witnessed in the last three weeks.
Not many would forget in a hurry the July 10, 2011 floods, which ravaged the city of Lagos. The heavens opened for almost 24 hours, and it finally led to flooding of major areas, mostly in the mainland.
Areas which mostly hit were Iwaya, Aboru, Owode, Meiran, Iju-Ishaga, Command, and Ajegunle-Elede, parts of Eti Osa, among others. Since then, the state government has intensified efforts to curb reoccurrence of flooding of such magnitude, which submerged houses, overflowed canals and embankments. Victims of that flooding lost property and personal effects worth millions of naira. Some houses built on river beds were demolished.
Reviewing the situation, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, Mr. Muyideen Akinsanya, an engineer, says the state has put in place an effective drainage system that could last for the next three years.
This, he describes as both the combination of massive construction of lined channels and unlined (hard) channels in identified flood-prone areas in the state. According to him, the state has also continued to maintain these channels so as to avoid clogging by either wastes or bushes.
He said, “For the lined channels, we ensure that they are cleared regularly, likewise, the hard channels, which are not lined, we cut the bush from time to time too. All these are to ensure that the storm water is effectively discharged to either the lagoon or other appropriate canals.”
Akinsanya states that Lagos faces the challenge of having to contend with storm water from both Ogun and Oyo states. According to him, about 60 per cent of rainfall from those states entering rivers Ogun, Yewa, Imeke, Owo, and Osun, among others, still has effects on Lagos.
To forestall this, he says, Lagos now has to devise a strategic plan for the control of rainfall and precipitation of storm water coming from other states.
He adds that the state deploys what is called on-site discharge (infiltration). By this, he says, the state follows development in every area in the state in terms of adequately establishing relevant relative collectors.
He adds, “It is through them that water goes into the primary canals, which are about five lagoons in Lagos. The topography of Lagos is flat, so we are constantly monitoring things.”
Akinsanya says the state ministry of the environment has a scheduled maintenance system for both the lined and hard channels. For lined channels, it is done every three years, while for the hard channels, it is carried out every one and a half years.
He states, “So, I can conveniently tell you that Lagos is free from flooding, at least for the next three years. You will discover that Lagos has experienced more rains this year than other states, yet there have been no casualties. It is all due to the proactive nature of the state in putting in place the necessary measures.”
Besides, over 16 drainage channels are currently being built along Lekki corridor to stop storm water anytime it rears its head.
In Akwa Ibom, more than 40 per cent of lands in Effiat and about 43 per cent of lands in Esuk Enwang in Mbo Local Government Area of the state have been submerged by flood due to rising sea levels.
The inhabitants of these islands have been pushed into marshy areas, where they now use planks to build make-shift houses.
In Mbo and Okobo LGA, farmlands and forests are covered by water, while crops have been washed off.
Besides, the capital city, Uyo is heavily flooded despite the pipe j****** system meant to arrest the situation.
The flood has also caused collapse of buildings, aiding the expansion of ravines. This has made nonsense of government’s efforts to checkmate the spread of ravines into residential areas and roads in the city.
The Special Adviser, Bureau of Technical Matters, Mr. Etido Inyang, however, debunked insinuations that the pipe j****** system inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 was a failed project.
He said the first phase of the project had successfully arrested flooding in Itam Junction area, Ikot Expene Road, Oron and Uruan road axis of the metropolis, adding that the second phase of the project will begin during the dry season.
Inyang said the capital city would experience one more flooding during next year’s rainy season, but on completion of the flood-control project in other parts of the city, flooding will end in Uyo by 2014.
He said, “Compensation has been paid for the right of way to create those channels along IBB Road, House of Assembly and Tropicana axis and extend to the state secretariat, through the Third Ring Road and into Ibesikpo.
“So, by the time we get into the dry season, work will expedite. We will have one more rainy season with bad flooding within those areas and the next rainy season in 2014 we will not see flooding.
“Uyo has always been a table land and what the pipe j****** system has done is to take care of a certain section.”
In Bayelsa State, Governor Seriake Dickson has ordered the immediate and indefinite closure of private and public schools following the rising water level and the perceived threat it poses to residents.
The order was also followed with a request to the state House of Assembly for its approval to allow his administration expend N1.5bn out of the N27bn Compulsory Savings Account of the state to tackle the emergency relocation of displaced persons and provision of relief materials for them.
Dickson, in a statement on Tuesday in Yenagoa and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said the schools’ closure became necessary due to the alarming rise in water levels across the state and the danger it poses to residents.
Meanwhile, the prices of food stuffs have increased astronomically in the state, as the access roads between Bayelsa and Delta states have been affected by the floods, making passage difficult, if not impossible ...Source