Lagos State Flood Palaver Will be a Problem For a Longer Time
Lagos state flood palaver has continued to be a thorn on the skin of the self-acclaimed mega-city of Nigeria. Traveling around Lagos State in the past few days has been like the proverbial bible saying of a camel through the needle eyes.
From the Mainland to the Island it has been a case of the park your car wait, hope, and watches. Major roads around the city were filled with heavy traffic gridlock or go-slow in our local parlance.
Lagos is a coastal state with its fair share of the seasonal rainfall flash flood problem. A trip around Lagos was more time consuming than traveling out of the state. This is due to the heavy rainfall that decided to visit every corner of the state with increasing intensity, coupled with the bad roads and bad road usage of an average Lagosian it became a case of Siddon look.
However, the Meteorological Agency of Nigeria has constantly issued a warning about high flooding problems in the country considering the poor drainage systems around the country and poor flood management of Nigerians. The agency has also issued a warning to those people living along the river banks and flood-prone areas to be prepared for the flood as the raining season starts.
But what do you expect from an average Nigerian, who give little or no concern to environmental warnings, we would rather run to the nearest worship center instead of making preparation. When the rain finally came little can we do to quell the heavily gush, but to wait and pray for miraculous intervention, since we as a people have failed to do the needful when necessary?
With the heavy downpour of rain lasting hours, many areas in Lagos became temporal lakes, swimming pools, and ocean-bay. The worst-hit areas are in Ikorudu, Surulere, Mile2, Lekki Phase 1, Jakande/Sandfiled, Ajah, and Ibeju-lekki. The news and social media were filled with sorry videos and images of submerged homes in the flood-affected areas.
We are still in the month of June, yet we are already seeing the devastating effect the rain is causing in the lives, businesses, and properties of people living in Lagos. Could we blame the rain, probably not because as people we are the major cause of the Lagos state flood palaver?
As many residents of Lagos are still counting their losses from the damages caused by the flood, the question remains have we learned our lessons? The obvious answer remains that we have not because this is not the first time such an occurrence had taken place.
In 2012 there was a serious flooding problem in Nigeria, many lives were lost, properties and farmland were destroyed in states such as Adamawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue and many other states along the Niger-Benue river banks. Over 300 persons lost their lives and more than 2 million people were displaced by flash floods and rising river banks. The floods affected 30 states out of the 36 states In Nigeria and were termed as the worst in 40 years.
In 2018, many lives were lost in Niger state due to flood problems, these and many more are just some few instances were flood has becomes a menacing problem in Nigeria. While we can easily blame the government and people in public offices for their lack of concern to the effective management of our general wealth as it relates to infrastructural development, we as a people have failed in environmental cleanliness and maintenance culture.
However, we all know that flooding is a natural occurrence and cannot be entirely avoided; but the adverse effect of flood and other nature-related disasters can be reduced or prevented if proper planning and the right action are taken to mitigate its effect.
What Lagos state Government must do to check flood problem in Lagos
There is an urgent need to re-orientate our people about the importance of maintaining our drainage system and also on the generality of proper waste disposal. Going around the city of Lagos one would notice the lack of concern by the populace towards environmental cleanliness, there is a total disregard for proper waste management.
While the government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu is doing its best to ensure that the level of cleanliness in the state is brought to an appreciable point, though it has failed to carry it citizenry along through proper sensitization. Lagosians are fond of the habit of dumping refuse in drainage’s, indiscriminate disposal of waste, lack of maintenance of public infrastructures, and total neglect for the law.
This has become a norm and it is affecting the generality of the state. If these issues are not urgently checked and control, I fear that this is just the beginning of the flood problem in the state and the Lagos state flood palaver would remain with us for a very long time.
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