Lagos heavy rains alert: How to protect yourself from flood

rain - climateaction

Lagos heavy rains alert: How to protect yourself from flood

Climate change is so dangerous that natural phenomena are becoming very scary. If you’re a resident of Lagos, Nigeria, you are no doubt aware that the city has been witnessing rising temperatures leading to heatwaves and variation in rainfall patterns.

Lagos State government has alerted residents of the state of incoming heavy rains, amounting to 1,750mm in 2022, with attendant socio-economic implications for residents of the state.

The state government, however, urged residents not to panic, as every arrangement has been put in place to ensure adequate protection of lives and property.

Speaking at a media briefing on the 2022 Seasonal Climate Predictions in Lagos, held in Alausa, Ikeja, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, said

“The predicted onset, cessation and rainfall amount of 2022 is similar to the prediction for 2021, and the implication is that we are anticipating experiencing a rain pattern of high intensity and frequency similar to that of 2021. Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of April 6, a cessation date of November 30, and a total rainfall amount of 1627mm.”

“However, the Seasonal Climate Prediction for Lagos State generally signifies that the onset dates range between March 17 at the earliest and April 6, 2022, at the latest, while the cessation dates range between November 30 and December 5, 2022, while the Maximum Annual Rainfall amount is predicted to be 1,750mm.”

He said it was expected that the recent increased frequency of extreme weather events would continue in 2022 with days of extremely high rainfall amounts, which might result in flooding.

“We call for caution as strong winds are expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall just as envisaged harmattan is predicted which may cause a reduction in visibility and bring about flight disruption and loss of revenue due to delays and cancellations in the aviation sector, ” Bello said.

On expected flooding, he said, “we want to assure you that our State will continue to reap the gains of careful and rigorous planning and execution, as our flood control measures are being stepped up to contain any imminent heavy rainfalls.”

Towards ensuring a flood-free and hygienic environment in the state, Bello said the ministry has embarked on all-year-round drainage maintenance for effective and efficient flood control, in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system.

The commissioner informed that “In the same vein, we are determined to maintain the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA) which has ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systemic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches of Ogun River. This mutual relationship has been highly beneficial in the past and we intend to sustain it.

“Just last Tuesday, the management of Oyan Dam, OD and Water Resources, WR, had a meeting with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority on ways to sustain our partnership in the sustainable management of flooding challenges and in the light of the study of hydro-geological mapping of Ogun River alignment presently being carried out by the agency.”

“Therefore, the low-lying areas and neighborhoods of Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo, and Ajegunle communities in Lagos State are being closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding as well as all other river basins in the State. These places may also be highly vulnerable to heavy flooding this year.”

Protecting yourself

What can people living in coastal regions and other low-lying areas do when there’s flooding? This article shares a few universal tips that can help you no matter where you live.

Evacuate on time

The best measure to take against flooding is to evacuate if you live in a potentially high-risk area. Secure your home to prevent damage. If there’s time, remove furniture and other essential household items to a safe place. Before you leave, make sure you switch off utilities at the main fuse if necessary. Remove all electrical appliances connected to electricity.

While evacuation is a safe option, many may not be able to do so because they have no alternative accommodations and limited financial resources. If that’s the case for you, read on to find other practical ways that can help to keep you and yours safe.

Inform others and keep yourself informed

Do not isolate yourself from others. If this happens as a result of your circumstance, make sure you notify people (your loved ones, friends, and neighbors) of your whereabouts. At every point, keep yourself informed either by listening to the radio, surfing the internet, or checking your social media.

Stay on firm ground

Don’t attempt to swim or walk or drive through floodwaters. If you must walk or drive through flooded areas, ensure that you move on firm ground. Moving water can be overpowering, strong enough to sweep you off your feet. Also, you will need to look out for stray electrical wires and downed power lines.

Be conscious of your environment

Take note of areas where floodwaters have receded, there might be slippery slopes that you should avoid. Be cautious while driving or walking through as some places might have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car. Also, watch out for debris, broken bottles, iron rods, planks, and other dangerous materials.

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