Some residents of Lagos State on Monday lamented the impact of heavy rainfall and the attendant floods that affected several parts of Nigeria’s commercial nerve centre.
The early morning rainfall, which lasted about four hours, caused floods in many Lagos communities and forced motorists and road users to wade through gridlock and flooded roads to get to their respective destinations and handle their businesses.
Frustrated residents posted photos and videos on social media showing roads overtaken by floods.
Such roads include the Marina road on Lagos Island, the Pen Cinema area of Agege, the Aboru-Iyana-Ipaja-Ile-Epo area, streets of Dolphin Estate in highbrow Ikoyi area, amongst other areas.
In the Maryland area of the state, the situation almost turned tragic as nine persons — mostly ladies — were trapped when a building started sinking there.
It took a combination of emergency workers to get them to safety, according to the National Emergency Management Agency.
The Lagos Territorial Coordinator of the agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, in a statement to Channels Television said the building is located at 47 Akinwunmi street in Mende, Maryland, Ikeja.
“All nine trapped ladies have been successfully rescued,” he said.
The NEMA official quoted one of the rescued persons identified as Ms Blessing to have said the affected are mostly ladies.
“About 35 buildings on Akinwumi Estate, 31 buildings on Arowojobe Estate, and Ebun Otti Estate are seriously impacted,” the official added.
Two Swept Away
Elsewhere in the state, two persons were not as lucky as the Mende nine. They were swept away by the floods and Farinloye said they both lost their lives.
“A man simply Known as Alfa was swept away as a result of heavy downpour that have caused heavy flooding that took over the whole communities of Ajayi Street, Olubodun Ifesowapo, Olubodun, Fafunwa, Ipaja West and Tioluwani in Alimosho LGA,” the NEMA official said.
“The deceased was said to have initially escaped with his wife and four children but the man was said to have returned to his house to pick some items in course of which he was swept off.
“The family of Alfa had been evacuated to a relative residence.
“While another adult man was said to have missed his steps on the Command bridge and fell on the running water. Before help could reach him, he had been carried away.”
‘Flash Flood Global Phenomenon’
A Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, told Channels Television that efforts were on to better protect the city. He also said Lagos is a coastal city, and flash flood are expected.
“New drainage channels are being constructed and dredging and cleaning is going on completely during the rainy season. Lagos is going extra mile to deflood the city. Those areas you see floods on the road this morning, if you get there now, you won’t see anything. After about two or three hours, it disappeared,” he explained.
Also reacting to the flood, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy in the state, Gbenga Omotoso, said the flash flood is a global phenomenon.
“The floods disappeared just a few hours after the rains. They are flash floods. Lagos State Government and local governments are clearing the drains all the time. So, the drains have been cleared.
“There is no way you won’t find flood because it rained for several hours. In fact, if you know what is going on in parts of the world now (it is not strange). In Pakistan, hundreds of people have died but here we are very lucky. I have driven around this evening and I can’t find floods anywhere. It is flash flood,” the commissioner said.
The floods have generated reactions on social media with many calling for a permanent solution to the age-long menace. Veteran Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw, opined that drainage should be considered first before buildings.
See tweets by some Lagosians:
We need to really solve this flooding issue EVERYTIME it rains so heavily…and it is not about moving somewhere else..
Drainage should always be considered FIRST before we build seeing that we are a coastal settlement.. pic.twitter.com/4Y61odN4nT
— Kate Henshaw (@HenshawKate) September 12, 2022
See Lagos with flood!!!! pic.twitter.com/qbNYxgb4CB
— abideen solahudeen (@abideensolahud2) September 12, 2022
— Ngene Julius (@NgeneJulius) September 12, 2022
This is Marina, Lagos State, Nigeria. The coming years are crucial for our future. We will not get there with good intentions alone.
— Geohazards Risk Mapping Initiative (@GeohazardMaps) September 12, 2022
Not Megacity fans saying that the flood is because of climate change, only for Lagos climate dey change. 😏😏PH is a coastal city, Bayelsa is a coastal city too, the climate is not affecting them too? 😏😏😁😁
— Ada Idemmili OGBANJE 👨👩👦 Labour party (@adaigbo_2022) September 12, 2022