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Lagos residents face evacuation as flood threat looms

The Lagos State Government has warned of a coming flood and advised all residents of the state living in the Ogun River banks to relocate immediately and move to the upper land for safety.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, on Wednesday in Lagos.

The statement said the relocation notice became expedient following the incidence of flooding experienced in Ajegunle, Kara’s neighbourhood.

It noted that the directive was also a sequel to the alert issued by the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority on the operation of Oyan Dam for flood in September and October.

The statement listed the affected catchment areas to include Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan, Lekki-Ajah and the Lagos Lagoon boundaries.

It noted that the latest alert emanating from the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources was a follow-up to a public statement issued by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority on Monday.

The Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority statement showed rainfall and average water released monthly for 2021, 2022 and 2023 till mid-October and warned of possible flooding.

“The available data showed that comparatively, for 2021, total rainfall was 969mm while for 2022, it was 1,140mm when compared with the first 10 months of this year; rainfall amounted to 1,410.1mm, which was a significant rise.

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“In addition, the amount of water spilt by the River Basin Authority for the whole of 2021 it amounted to 1,140 million cubic meters (mcm), while for 2022, the amount of water spilt was slightly higher at 1,475.6 mcm.

“For the 10 months of 2023, a very significant 2,274 has been released with 532.2 mcm and 348.7mcm released in September and October,” the statement said.

It explained that the statistical table released by the River Basin Authority showed that the amount of rainfall recorded from January to October 2023 (1,410.0mm) indicated that most of the rainfall in the area had fallen.

“Likewise, the volume of water released from January to October 15, 2023 is more than the average synthesized Annual Flow volume of 1770mcm against a Gross Storage of 27+90mcm,” it said.

The statement said the utmost concern of the government was the safety of lives and properties of residents, hence the urgent call for relocation by those affected.

It added that the alert became necessary because of much water being expected in October 2023 in addition to the downpours usually associated with the months of September and December each year.

“This is along Ogun River Basin and other related predictions and warning from Nigeria Metrological Services, Nigeria Hydrological Services, National Emergency Management Agency and other related agencies,” the statement said.

The statement, however, appealed to all residents across the state to be wary of the fact that Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash flood.

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