FG Orders Urgent Removal of Silted Drains on Lagos Roads to Combat Flooding

By Joke Kujenya

THE FEDERAL Government has directed the swift removal of silted drains along federal roads in Lagos State to address the recent flooding crisis.

On Wednesday, Mrs. Olukorede Kesha, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, announced this decisive measure, highlighting the ministry’s proactive approach to resolving the problem.

Promptly, teams are already deployed to assess and clear the clogged drains on the affected roads as Kesha assured residents that the ministry is committed to reducing the inconvenience and disruptions caused by the flash floods.

She clarified that while some reports suggested widespread flooding, the ministry has identified only localized flooding on certain federal roads and is taking immediate steps to remedy the situation.

The recent heavy rains have led to severe flooding in residential areas and major roads in the Ibeju-Lekki area.

The downpour, which lasted for about nine to ten hours, resulted in significant water accumulation in areas such as Epe, Eredo, Bogije, Labora, Abijon, Sangotedo, Awoyaya, and Ibeju-Lekki. Residents blame the flooding on blocked waterways caused by indiscriminate waste disposal.

Some residents of Lagos reported their homes being submerged due to the lack of a functional drainage system due to floods damaging many of their belongings, underscoring the urgent need for proper drainage infrastructure in the state.

Flooding has also disrupted major roads such as Abraham Adesanya, Awoyaya, Sangotedo, and Majek due to ongoing road rehabilitation works. The persistent rainfall also caused gridlock and increased transport fares, compounding the economic hardship for many residents.

In response to the flash floods, the Lagos State Government has called for calm.

Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, explained that the city experienced about nine hours of continuous rainfall, leading to a rise in the Lagos lagoon’s water level.

He assured that the floods would subside once the rains stop and the lagoon’s level decreases.

Emergency teams have been deployed to clear major black spots of blockages.

Wahab urged residents in low-lying areas to relocate to higher grounds for safety and advised against driving through floodwaters, emphasizing the dangers even a foot of flowing water poses to vehicles.

Residents were encouraged to stay informed through daily weather reports and to regularly clean and maintain the drains in their areas, refraining from dumping refuse in them.

The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) predicted thunderstorms and rains across the country from Wednesday to Friday, warning of possible flooding in Lagos due to continuous rains.

The agency advised the public to take precautions and stay safe.

During the 2024 Flood Early Warnings Sensitization Programme in Awka, Anambra State, NEMA Director-General Zubaida Umar emphasized the need for community involvement in flood mitigation.

Anambra State Governor Chukwuma Soludo, represented by Deputy Governor Onyekachi Ibezim, highlighted ongoing infrastructural interventions to address flooding in the state.

In general, NiMet’s forecast included morning thunderstorms in various states, with continuous rains anticipated in Lagos, potentially leading to further flooding as the agency advised airline operators to obtain updated weather reports for effective planning.

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