The Lagos State government has said that 80 per cent of flood disasters in the Lagos metropolis are man-made.
The revelation was made by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, when he met with representatives of Local Government Areas in Lagos in Ikeja, in continuation of the agency’s flood mitigation and adaption awareness campaign.
The campaign has the theme: “A Flood Free Lagos 2023: Building Flood Resilience is our Collective Responsibility.”
According to Oke-Osanyintolu, LASEMA had conducted an analysis of flooding in all the Council areas in the Senatorial District with the aim of sensitising the local authority and exposing them to ways to check the menace.
It was discovered that the flooding incidences in the local council development areas in the district are man-made and wreaking havoc on the environment.
Major causes of flooding outlined in LASEMA‘s analysis are high river levels, concentration of overland flow due to heavy rainfall, limited capacity of drainage systems as well as blockage of waterways and drainage channels developed to facilitate surface run-offs.
Sensitizing them on steps to take during the forum, Oke-Osanyintolu advised them to establish a chain of command in each of the local government areas and warned against nonchalant attitude to refuse disposal, harping on the fact that ensuring a flood free Lagos is everybody’s responsibility.
“Eighty percent of the disaster we are experiencing, especially flooding is man-made, so we have decided that we are going to change the attitude and orientation of the people towards mitigation, so, we are ready to work with local governments, partner with them to curb the menace of flooding and ensure that there will be no mortality or morbidity no matter the intensity of the rain forecast by NIMET”, the LASEMA boss said.
Data from LASEMA indicate that the agency attended to 119 incidents in the month of July, 2023 alone, while it responded and managed 795 incidents between January and July, ranging from road traffic accidents, collapsed buildings, fire and gas/pipeline explosion.
Oke-Osanyintolu pointed out that the State government’s huge investment in emergency management would not yield the desired result without effective commitment and support from the local councils as well as residents.
Responding on behalf of others, the Vice Chairman of Ijede LCDA, Mr. Femi Kabir, identified poor drainage system as responsible for flooding and promised that LASEMA’s advice on the necessary intervention would be duly implemented.
“We are going back home to strengthen the advocacy on flood prevention, we will meet with CDC and CDAs to curb indiscriminate dumping of refuse, before now, we have been designing and clearing the gutters, we will go back to our communities and tell our people what LASEMA has shown us and the part each and everyone of us should be playing in preventing disasters caused by flooding”.