The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, Sani Mashi, has called for the demolition and reconstruction of structures in Lekki, Lagos State, to check annual flooding of the area.
Mr. Mashi made the call during in his paper entitled “Meteorology, flooding and the challenges before the Nigerian Engineers” at the 2nd Annual General Meeting/Lecture of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Giri Branch on Tuesday in Abuja.
According to him, flooding occurs in Nigeria in three main forms, river, urban and coastal flooding.
“However, flooding is worsened by human activities such as, rapid industrialisation, uncontrolled urbanisation, population growth, unregulated exploitation of natural resources and improper location of infrastructure,” he said.
Mr. Mashi stressed that Lekki experienced flooding annually with devastating effects on the lives and property of residents in the peninsula.
“What we are saying is that, Lekki has been developed; it is at the infrastructure level. When driving, you will just leave the road and drive into your house.
“Lekki is a land belonging to the sea; by implication, Lekki is built on the sea.
“Therefore, if you are building in the sea, the starting level of the building has to be above the sea, so what needs to be done is to demolish structures in Lekki. If you can’t demolish them, then convert the ground floor to be the base level,” Mr. Mashi said.
According to him, if the first floor should now be the starting level for the houses, saying that when flood comes, it will stay at the lower level and will not affect the residents.
NAN reports that Lekki is a city located to the east of Lagos, adjoining to its west, Victoria Island and Ikoyi districts with the Atlantic Ocean to its south and Lagoon to the north side.
Mr. Mashi, who is also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative with World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, said if demolition of structures in the area was not possible, residents should take pragmatic action by converting the first floor of the houses to the base level.
The NiMet boss said there was also need for Nigerian engineers to ensure the design and construction of flood resilient public infrastructure that could withstand the destructive effects of flooding in the country.
He also called for the strengthening of public infrastructure through stress resilient structural elements, choice of materials, and appropriate choice of technology and efficient supervision of construction.
Mr. Mashi said such method would serve as in-built protective mechanism for the vulnerable public infrastructure, because “we cannot stop flooding from happening.’’
He emphasised the need for design and construction of adequate drainage systems in both urban and rural settlements to accommodate the volume of water being generated during flooding.
“There is also need for proper maintenance of the existing drainage systems for sustainable flood control and timely repairs and reconstruction of flood- damaged public infrastructure.
“There is need for the design and fabrication of basic meteorological instruments to aid meteorological activities, especially in area of weather observation, forecasting and issuance of early warning alerts against flooding.”
He also called for design, construction and launching into orbit a home-built meteorological satellite to help track real time weather parameters and events.
He tasked Nigerian engineers to be abreast of the reality of climate change by providing and mitigating solutions in their designs, productions, fabrications and construction activities.
“Public infrastructure should be designed with the reality of climate change.
“Collaborations between relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should be encouraged to advance the practice of engineering and meteorology in Nigeria.
“For instance, NiMet and NASDA can collaborate to start preliminary discussion on the design of first meteorological satellite. Engineers from the two agencies can drive the process”