Following the release of an updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast for Flood Control by the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority effective September and the high rainfall being experienced as predicted, the Lagos State Government on Sunday alerted residents, especially those in the downstream of the Ogun River of the likelihood of experiencing flood from this month.
According to the statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engineer Lekan Shodeinde, the affected areas include Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan and Lekki-Ajah axis.
He stated that the primary concern of the state government is the safety of the lives and properties of residents, urging residents and property owners in the listed areas to be ready to move upland when the water level rises showing signs of flooding just as same is advisable to all residents across the State.
Quoting excerpts from the updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast signed by the Managing Director of the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu, Shodeinde explained that comparatively the total amount of rainfall recorded from January to August 2023 (1,128.6mm) is higher than that of January to August of the year 2021 (713.4mm) & 2022 (848.1mm).
The Permanent Secretary said comparatively, a total of 968.6mm was recorded as amount of rainfall for the 12 months of 2021, just as a total of 1,140 mm was the recorded amount of rainfall during the 12 months of 2022, while in the first 8 months of 2023, a quantum of 1,128.6mm has already been recorded which means when the remaining four months in the year is factored in, a very high intensity of rainfall would be recorded for the whole year.
He opined that the water levels of all tributaries including the Oyan Dam are rising and is one of the contributory factors to the possibility of the likely flooding of the downstream flow of Ogun River, stressing that the same applies to all the channels and tributaries that discharge into the lagoon which may experience tidal lock and flow back because of the high water level that prevents discharges, leading to flash flooding.
Shodeinde commended the authorities of the Ogun Oshun Basin Development Authority (OSRBDA) for ensuring that the water releases are being regulated without compromising Oyan Dam integrity while still being guided by all the Seasonal Rainfall Patterns issued by the various agencies.
The Permanent Secretary added that the alert has become necessary because there is much water to be expected in September 2023 in addition to the heavy downpours that are usually associated with September and October every year along Ogun River Basin and other related predictions and warnings from Nigeria Metrological Services (NIMET), Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other related Agencies.
Also speaking on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroon to the Benue River, Engr. Shodeinde assured residents of the state that only 11 states namely Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River will be affected by the releases from Lagdo and there is no connection between the Lagdo dam releases and operations of Oyan Dam and the water releases forecast for Flood Control in Lagos and Ogun State.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated his appeal to all residents across the state to be wary of the fact that Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash floods and it is expedient for them to cooperate with the state government in ensuring the success of measures put in place including the early warning alert to mitigate the effects of flash flooding.