Rainfall causes flooding, traffic gridlock in Lagos

By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos

The first heavy rainfall in the Lagos metropolis has left in its wake flooding and traffic jam in some parts of the city.

The rain, which started in the early hours of Monday, left knee-deep floods in some parts of Adeniji area in Lagos Island as well as Ikoyi and Victoria Island in Eti Osa Local Government Area.

Some of the residents at Idumagbo Avenue on Lagos Island told newsmen that the flooding was caused by the blockage of the major canal in the neighbourhood and its overflow.

One of the residents, Mr Yinka Shittu, said that ongoing road construction works in the area also contributed to the flooding.

“You can see that there is ongoing reconstruction work on this road which has not been completed. Also, construction works where the drainage canal meets the road have yet to be completed. Traders and some of us living in this area have tried to open up the drainage systems but the water had been stagnant,’’ he said.

Alhaji Malik Yaro, a watch repairer and trader in the area, said that some residents had the drains into refuse dumps.

“I am, therefore, not surprised that the floodwater here today was knee deep. People dump refuse of all sorts — empty containers, takeaway plates and papers — in the drainage system.

“I am assuring you that if the situation it continues this way, nobody will like to pass through this place whenever it rains heavily like this again and the floodwater may enter people’s homes and shops,’’ he said.

Another trader, Mr Chudi Ibeazu, noted that the construction works in the neighbourhood were not moving fast the way they ought to be.

“Since November 2016, the slabs where the canal joined the main road had been opened and we have not seen any serious work to show that they want to open up the drainage system for water to flow.

“You can see from the pattern of flooding; on the left side, coming from Adeniji, the water is still moving but on the right side, the water is not moving at all.

“My wish is for the government to take a cue from the effect which this rainfall had on the area and speed up construction works in the area.

“We clear the drainage system at the point where the canal joins the road every other day and especially on Thursdays, but the problem is that the water in the canal does not flow,’’ he said.

Dr Babatunde Adejare, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, said that the government would not relent in its efforts to stem flooding in every part of the Lagos metropolis.

He, however, underscored the need for people to change their indiscriminate waste disposal habits and refrain from turning canals and drains into refuse dumpsites.

Adejare said that such behavioural change was necessary because sudden rainfall, like the one that occurred on Monday, would cause flooding.

He said that the rainwater would also carry the debris out of the drains and litter the roads, thereby making the roads very untidy and filthy.

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