Lagos to experience 270 days of rainfall
• Warns against indiscriminate dumping of wastes
Lagos State government said on Tuesday that the state is expected to experience 270 days of rains this year, warning that anyone found to be blocking drains would henceforth be prosecuted.
Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen, saying that the figure was based on the forecasts of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NMET).
Bello said the figure was equally based on the peculiarity of the state as a coaster state and its strategic position as the economic hub of the nation, saying such had made it necessary to inform the people and allay their fears ahead of the rains.
The commissioner, who was flanked by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage Services and Water Resources, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said that in view of the seasonal flooding in the state which the government had done a lot to ameliorate, the government would no longer tolerate indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state, especially along the drainage system.
“Worthy of note is the increasing frequency of extreme weather events which indicates that year 2020 will likely experience days with extremely high amounts and may result in flooding,” he warned.
Bello, however, said that the government had rehabilitated or constructed 168 channels in the state that would take floodwaters to the Lagoon.
“The Emergency Flood Abatement Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry of the Environment has been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits, to enable them to discharge efficiently and act as a retention basin.
“To forestall the incidences of collapse of telecommunication masts and advertisement structures occasioned by high velocity of the wind, expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall, Lagos Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) have been directed to ensure advertising and communication agencies comply with regulations on safety and stability of billboards and telecommunication masts,” the commissioner said.
Bello lamented that building houses on natural waterways and sand filling drainage channels without permission would no longer be tolerated even as he threatened that markets with dirty environments would also be shut down.
He, however, enjoined residents to desist from the indiscriminate refuse dump into water channels in order to reduce the effect of flooding that possibly accompanies the expected heavy rainfall.
“I want to assure you that our state will continue to reap the gains of planning, as our flood control measures are being stepped up to contain any unforeseen weather conditions.
“I am glad to note that relevant measures have been put in place in preparation for the year 2020 rainy season,” Bello said.