Why VI, Lekki, others are flooded, Lagos govt explains; urges calm

Flooded streets of Lagos as seen on Twitter.
Flooded streets of Lagos as seen on Twitter.

The Lagos State Government on Sunday urged residents to remain calm and vigilant in the wake of the torrential rain experienced in the state in the last few days.

The State’s Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Adejare, who spoke after inspecting areas affected by the flood in the State, allayed fears of residents, assuring that the government has activated its emergency response system to respond efficiently where necessary.

He said most of the flooding would recede after a period of time, attributing the cause to the high tide of the lagoon, slowing down the flow of rainfall water from drainage channels.

“We are on top of the situation. The government is concerned by the recent occurrence of flooding in some parts of Victoria Island, Lekki, Oniru and its environs and our emergency lines 112 and 767 are open 24/7 for residents to report any emergency situation,” he said.

The commissioner urged residents in the habit of dumping refuse indiscriminately especially in drainage channels to stop forthwith, saying that engaging in such does not only portend health hazards, but could also lead to loss of lives and property.

He said dumping refuse in drainages meant to take flood water to the lagoon, blocks such channels and as such had dire consequences that could lead to loss of lives and properties.

Mr. Adejare also expressed concerns that despite the vigorous campaign by the government on the dangers of dumping refuse indiscriminately, some people still engage in such act.

“The lagoon is swollen up, there is high tide, so it would lock on our outfalls, the water would not recede or go into the lagoon as fast as it used to be. So that’s one of the main reason why we are having flooding all over the place; and coupled with our own man made problems such as people blocking the drainage channels, people even building on drainage channels, that’s what has also been causing all these problems.

“That is a criminal thing to do, it is not good, their actions can lead to loss of lives and definitely to damage of properties, so they should stop it because it would affect some people adversely.

“You do not need to dump refuse in drainages, eventually we would come to pick them up and with our improved services through the reforms that we are carrying out, there would not be anything like that, we would be evacuating solid waste faster than we have done,” Mr. Adejare said.

He said that the government was concerned about the safety of residents, hence the continuous call on those living in flood-prone areas to relocate temporarily pending when the rain recedes.

“Like we have been telling them, if the rain still persist, please don’t go out of your homes, except you are living by the coast or by the low line. If you are one of those, you have to move upland, move away from the coast until the rain recedes. But if you are living upland and it’s raining persistently and it’s not necessary or compulsory for you to go out, please stay indoors.

If you also have contact with flood water, wash your hands always, whatever has been touched by the flood water should not be eaten, it’s important,” Mr. Adejare said.

The commissioner also assured residents that the ongoing reforms in the environment sector through the Cleaner Lagos Initiative would evolve a viable solid waste management system which would make the state cleaner and healthy for residents.

“This is a transition period, most importantly it’s not that the reforms have taken so long, you need to plan very well so that you don’t plan to fail. We are making sure that when we start, we don’t hope to fail, we hope to give our people a world class service in solid waste management, that’s what we are planning for and we need to take our time to do that and give Lagosians good service. It would commence, it would succeed and it would give us a better way of managing our solid waste here,” he said.

He, however, urged residents to continue to maintain a high level of cleanliness, especially in disposing their refuse, while assuring that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration would not relent in its efforts until it achieves a cleaner Lagos.

“I want to tell our people, no pain, no gain. To embark on any kind of reform is always very tedious. As a government, the priority is to see these reforms through and to make our people live better.

“Our refuse should not be a disgrace to us, it should be a resource and that’s what we intend to pursue,” Mr. Adejare said.


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  • udomoh eshemokha

    Good

  • Dazmillion

    They should just say Lagos, especially Lagos island is below sea level and no amount of drainage will solve the problem. Pray that tsunami doesn’t hit this side.

    • aisha ani

      Its on its way.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Dazmillion, the entire city of Amsterdam is also below sea level and it doesn’t flood. It’s also one of the cleanest cities I’ve ever visited.

      The problem of flooding in Lagos na man made greed.

      • Solomon Wize

        Yes indeed, Amsterdam will not flood because their primary objective was to keep the water out so they built elaborate man made barriers, dikes, dams, and floodgates around the whole place, they didn’t just go about selling swamps for exorbitant prices, and enriching themselves by sand filling as much of the ocean as they can to build themselves overpriced high rises on unstable sandy areas. Apparently they have more money than brains!

        I’ve seen videos of the flood control systems in the Netherlands, boy o boy, it’s something else, what our people are doing here borders on comical!

        • Kappymo

          Indeed sir. I study in the Netherlands. Small country, big brains. In Rotterdam we live 7 meters below sea level, but we are surrounded by dikes, floodgates and man made barriers. Matter of fact, thew Dutch are known as the best water engineers around. They were instrumental in designing and constructing the Dubai palm beach.

          Someone in the comment section blames global warming. But I don’t believe global warming has anything to do with it. Ours is a case of poor development plans, shoddy Environmental Impact Assessments, corruption, laziness and ‘I too know’ mentality.

          We have so much potential, so much promise as a nation but yet, we are on the tail end of everything.

  • Truthometer

    You are on top of natural phenomenon. “I hear you”. It’s time that will tell that human beings has a limited or no control over nature, especially when we chose to tamper with its natural flow. Brethren and sisteren living there, read my lips, “It’s time to panic”!. He who has ears, let him hear. It may not be today or tomorrow, but the time is fast approaching. Flee, if you can! That’s my 2 cents.

  • Gary

    You can cope with nature but not conquer it. Living on the seashore has its benefits and hardships; especially when it’s done by unplanned development.
    Ikoyi and Victoria Island never witnessed massive flooding when these areas had open spaces, parks and drainage that cope with their population.

    Then came the massive expansion and migration of the wealthy and middle class to these areas along with the land grab of Ikoyi Park, reclamation of the Lagos Lagoon for posh estates and opening of the Maroko-Lekki-Eve axis to urban sprawl.
    Huge mansions and estates with poor drainage and gutters that are barely two feet deep. Every home in these areas has fully cemented yards with no open ground for rain or run off water to sink into the ground. Some even invest in ultra-fancy paved stones and concrete enough to build a guest house.

    Then it rains in June-July and there’s no where for the water to enter the ground or drains large enough to flow into the Lagoon that has been pushed further away.
    The result is what happened overnight Saturday. And likely to get worse when the Eko Atlantic City is fully built up and populated. Forget the PR nonsense about building a wall to hold back the waves. Note, this was just rain and not a storm surge that would have pushed water from the Atlantic onshore.
    Solutions: build deeper gutters and frequently cleared drainage to allow water to flow into the Lagoon.
    More importantly, STOP home builders from cementing their entire yards to allow for rain and run off to sink into the ground. Rather than flood streets, homes and other valued assets. Sad to see luxury vehicles parked in flooded compounds.
    A drive way for the cars and a walkway into the home is all you need.
    Keep a lawn, garden and trees to open the ground for water and beautify your homes and surroundings. Have open spaces designated for parks and public gardens in every community or estate that houses five hundred people or more.
    That’s how sensible folks live elsewhere that Nigeria’s wealthy and middle class ought to emulate. It’s not hard like trying to go to the moon.

    • Lanre

      Thank you for this brilliant comment. I was watching a programme a few years back when Dele Alake was telling a foreign journalist how they were going to make Eko Atlantic like Dubai. How much Environmental Impact Assessments have been done? In London, Amsterdam, New York, Dubai you will not find residents deliberately dumping refuse inside drains – there aren’t open drains anyways. But you know the mentality of Nigerian Rulers – putting the cart before the horse. How do we deal with rising sea levels? How do we deal with greedy, former government officials who want to own homes in Lekki, Banana Island and sand fill everywhere? The price we have to pay for corruption.
      P.S. I have all these irritants coming to tell me to buy a home in Lekki, V.I. etc. I laugh at them. Will never spend my hard earned money on gaudy looking trash.

    • musa aliyu

      Hear an educated man, dishing out golden advice FOC. But they will still ignore it. Eku Se o, o jare!

    • egoigwe

      Thank you my brother. Govt ought to know better but corruption, even if some kind of regulation is in place, will not allow for the right thing to get done.

  • musa aliyu

    This commissioner tire person! Wetin U go do with the ‘high tide’ U no talk. Na only refuse U dey bank upon. Abi in naija una no get the technology to dissuade the tide? Despite all the billions U guys stole to build the new cities? Na una go hear am!

  • Rosebud

    Who is fooling who? Atlantic city and it’s dredging is the primary cause of the flooding. It has caused huge dislocations to the island’s natural outflow streams, its concrete mass alone coupled with the massive excavation of the Atlantic’s natural sand buffers have allowed for this rapid inflow of water.

    These sand buffers act as blotting paper that soaks up inflow to delay the rapid overwhelming of the Island by flash floods. Aside this, the positioning of Atlantic city has constricted the ocean’s wide berth, forcing water into the Island, the way an injection syringe would. It isn’t some natural phenomenon but the resultant effects of government irresponsibility and greed.

    Who dumps refuse on the streets and gutters in VI and environs without having to pay a very serious price for it? Heck! You can’t even cut or trim trees in your own premises without being hounded by Eti Osa LG to pay a surcharge for it.

    What is the use for an emergency response system? To save people from drowning or to prevent houses and homes from collapsing because of a weakened, waterlogged foundation or to provide alternative accommodation in face of distress? We know what it is for, to line the pockets of crooked officials.

    Mr Commissioner, you know, your boss knows and we know that you all know what the problem is, it’s your ‘Dubai’ project called Atlantic city.

    • egoigwe

      Truth spoken to power. Tell them, my sister. I thank you and l salute you. Nothing more to add.

      • aisha ani

        And I thank you too, hopefully the so called “educated elite”, will get off their derriere when its time to vote.

        • Gary

          When they grabbed the hitherto Bar Beach for the Tinubu-Chagoury Eko Atlantic project, those of us who questioned it were derided as sore losers and enemies of progress by the same media propaganda machine the APC used to bamboozle the electorate in Lagos and the rest of the country.

          Now the chickens are coming home to roost as the sophisticats of Lagos watch helplessly as floods overrun their homes and possessions. And this is just the start of what is to come when the “Atlantic City” is populated. They propose a sea wall that will protect their city but leave the rest of the coastline from Lekki to Epe for the sea to surge onto land and deliver a far more devastating blow to lives and properties of residents of the region in coming years. The sea wall will in effect turn VI, Ikoyi and the Lekki region into a bowl for water to fill, rather than drain out. God save our people if there is ever a Tsunami in our region of the Atlantic.
          Those who seized Bar Beach from the people of Lagos are still engaged in sand filling more of the Lagos Lagoon for property development. Even as the victims of their unbridled greed count their losses from just one rainfall.

          • egoigwe

            It’s sad, my brother, so painfully sad.

  • Solomon Wize

    This is a clear example of profit above planning, no matter how much you clear the lagoons, water has never been known to flow upwards, high tide means the water body where the lagoons drain into have risen above the level of the land itself, so how can water drain out? This is a major issue, the only way this can be stopped is to create man made barriers around the Island, this will cost Billions of Dollars. With global warming on the increase, this will get worse! Either that or everybody should learn how to Kayak!

    • Kappymo

      global warming eeh? It has nothing to do with rising water tides. Just read what Rosebud wrote below. Dont blame this unknown, debated, probably man made thing called global warming. Now they just need to fortify the island with dikes. But like you noted, it would cost billions.

  • George

    Yeye Fashola brought Crook Hillary husband some time age to commission that evil Eko Atlantic city that brought this untold hardship upon the environment.

    Anything Fashola touches turned to wastes from cities planning to Borehole digging to schools building to his family all turned to yeye and now he is at Abuja turn us into darkness as demons representative on earth.

  • Solomon Wize

    Isn’t it shocking though really kay? The Island is the most expensive swamp in the world and we must be asses to assume that they did enough geographical, geological and meteorological surveys before reclaiming all that coastal land, wait, too much for them to comprehend abi? Kaaiii!