Lagos Govt Asks Residents To Prepare For Over 200 Days Rainfall

 

The Lagos State government has asked residents to prepare for the rainy season as the state is expected to witness between 240 to 270 days of rainfall in 2020.

According to the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, who stated this during a press briefing on the Year 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions and prevention of flooding in the State on Tuesday, added that the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750mm.

Mr Bello, while giving reference to a report obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological services (NIMET), stated that the earliest predicted onset of the rainy season is 17th March with other areas following.

He added that the rainy season is expected to cease earliest by 22 Nov in Surulere with other areas following after.

“Ikeja is expected to have about 1526mm, while that of Badagry is 1750mm, Lagos Island with 1714mm, Ikorodu with 1690mm and Epe with 1730mm of rainfall.

“Lagos Island was expected to have a rainfall onset date of 19th March with an error margin of three days, while its cessation date is expected to be 26th of November,” he stated.

READ ALSO: FG Committed To Taking 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty – Malami

 

 

The Environment Commissioner noted that this year’s prediction by NiMeT is based on the global consensus that El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is at the neutral phase which will continue till around August or September.

Mr Bello explained that residents staying coastal areas will witness flash-floods which he describes as ‘natural’, but it will disappear in a matter of time if the drains are clean.

“As long as the drains are clean, we should be assured that, in a matter of time, the flash flood will disappear.

“It must be noted that anytime the Lagoon level rises, it may “lock-up” the discharge points drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge. Occurrences like these also cause backflows, resulting in flooding”, he emphasised.

He disclosed, “The Lagos State Government has established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority and this has ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream communities;

According to him, since last year the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang under Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry have been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits, to enable them to discharge efficiently.

The Commissioner advised Lagosians who reside along flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers to always be on the alert and be ready to relocate when the need arises.

He appealed to Lagosians to desist from acts that can lead to flooding, indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places.

Thousands In Shelters As Indonesia Flood Death Toll Hits 53

Rescuers help a sick woman cross the river to get medical assistance at the Sukarame village in Lebak, Banten province on January 3, 2020, after flooding triggered by heavy rain which started on New Year’s Eve hit the area. SAMMY / AFP

 

Indonesian rescue teams flew helicopters stuffed with food to remote flood-hit communities on Saturday as the death toll from the disaster jumped to 53 and fears grew about the possibility of more torrential rain.

Tens of thousands in Jakarta were still unable to return to their waterlogged homes after some of the deadliest flooding in years hit the enormous capital region, home to about 30 million.

In neighbouring Lebak, where half a dozen people died, police and military personnel dropped boxes of instant noodles and other supplies into remote communities inaccessible by road after bridges were destroyed.

“It’s tough to get supplies in there… and there are about a dozen places hit by landslides,” Banten police chief Tomsi Tohir told AFP.

“That is why we’re using helicopters although there aren’t any landing spots.”

Local health centre chief Suripto, who goes by one name, said injured residents were flowing into his clinic.

“Some of them were wounded after they were swept away by floods and hit with wood and rocks,” he said.

Around Jakarta, more than 170,000 people took refuge in shelters across the massive urban conglomeration after whole neighbourhoods were submerged.

Torrential rains that started on New Year’s Eve unleashed flash floods and landslides in the region and Lebak at the south end of Java island.

On Saturday, Indonesia’s disaster agency said the death toll had climbed to 53 with one person still missing.

“We’ve discovered more dead bodies,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo.

‘Trauma healing’ 

Jakarta shelters filled up with refugees, including infants, resting on thin mats as food and drinking water ran low.

Some had been reduced to using floodwater for cleaning.

“We’re cleaning ourselves in a nearby church but the timing has been limited since it uses an electric generator for power,” said Trima Kanti, 39, from one refuge in Jakarta’s western edges.

In hard-hit Bekasi, on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, swampy streets were littered with debris and crushed cars lying on top of each other — with waterline marks reaching as high as the second floors of buildings.

On Friday, the government said would start cloud seeding to the west of the capital — inducing rain using chemicals sprayed from planes — to prevent approaching rainfall from pounding the region.

Waters had receded in many areas and power was being restored in hundreds of districts.

The health ministry has said it had deployed some 11,000 health workers and soldiers to distribute medicine, disinfectant hygiene kits and food in a bid to stave off outbreaks of Hepatitis A, mosquito-borne Dengue fever and other illnesses, including infections linked to contact with dead animals.

Visiting hard-hit Lebak, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the government would help rebuild destroyed schools and construct temporary bridges, while offering assistance to victims.

“We’re also asking for NGOs (non-governmental organisations) to help with trauma healing,” Muhadjir told reporters on Saturday.

 Electrocution, drowning 

Around Jakarta, a family — including a four- and nine-year-old — died of suspected gas poisoning from a portable power generator, while an eight-year-old boy was killed in a landslide.

Others died from drowning or hypothermia, while one 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by a power line.

Jakarta is regularly hit by floods during the rainy season, which started in late November. But this week marked Jakarta’s deadliest flooding since 2013 when dozens were killed after the city was inundated by monsoon rains.

Urban planning experts said the disaster was partly due to record rainfall.

But Jakarta’s myriad infrastructure problems, including poor drainage and rampant overdevelopment, worsened the situation, they said.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced a plan to move the country’s capital to Borneo island to take pressure off Jakarta, which suffers from some of the world’s worst traffic jams and is fast sinking due to excessive groundwater extraction.

AFP

Indonesia Flood: 43 Killed, Rescuers Search For Survivors

Young men wait under a concrete bridge looking to salvage valuable items carried by the currents in Jakarta on January 3, 2020, after flooding triggered by heavy rain which started on New Year’s Eve hit the area.  BAY ISMOYO / AFP

 

Indonesian rescuers mounted a desperate search on Friday for those missing after torrential rains unleashed flash floods and landslides, killing at least 43 people across the Jakarta region as authorities raced to prevent disease outbreaks.

Around a dozen people were still unaccounted for after record rains that started on New Year’s Eve pounded the capital and left swathes of the megalopolis — home to some 30 million — under water and thousands homeless.

Around 192,000 residents have been evacuated to temporary shelters, according to authorities, with many unable to return to waterlogged homes in neighbourhoods that have been turned into wastelands.

“We’re encouraging people whose houses are still inundated to go to a safer place,” said National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Agus Wibowo.

The agency said 43 people had been confirmed dead in Greater Jakarta and neighbouring Lebak regency in the south of Java island.

Waters had receded in many areas and power was being restored after being cut off in many districts.

In hard-hit Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, swampy streets were littered with debris and crushed cars lying on top of each other — with waterline marks reaching as high as the second floors of buildings.

The government said Friday it would start cloud seeding to the west of the capital — inducing rain using chemicals sprayed from planes — to prevent approaching rainfall from pounding the region.

 ‘Everything’s gone’ 

Using inflatable boats to evacuate residents trapped in their homes, including children and seniors, rescuers said they were targeting the hardest-hit areas of the Muslim-majority nation’s capital on Friday.

Shelters filled up with refugees, including infants, resting on thin mats as food and drinking water ran low.

“It’s impossible for me to go back to my home,” said 72-year-old Lumongga Siregar.

“We have no clean water right now… and we’re hoping for more food because there isn’t much.”

Mother Dewi Puspitasari worried about her one-year-old daughter’s health.

“The blanket and mat I’ve got here aren’t thick enough for her and we’re scared she will get sick,” she told AFP.

As Indonesians gathered for Friday prayers, a call went out for city mosques to take in and help desperate refugees.

“Mosques also have a social function in addition to religious activities,” said Indonesian Mosque Council secretary general Imam Addaruquthni.

The health ministry deployed some 11,000 health workers and soldiers to distribute medicine, disinfectant hygiene kits and food in a bid to stave off outbreaks of Hepatitis A, mosquito-borne Dengue fever and other illnesses, including infections linked to contact with dead animals.

In hard-hit Lebak outside Jakarta, residents started the slow process of cleaning up their deluged homes.

“Everything’s gone,” said shop owner Aminah, who goes by one name.

“I left it all because I got scared at how high the water was getting.”

 ‘Phenomenally bad’ 

Around Jakarta, a family — including a four- and nine-year-old — died of suspected gas poisoning from a portable power generator, while an eight-year-old boy was killed in a landslide.

Others died from drowning or hypothermia, while one 16-year-old boy was electrocuted by a power line.

Jakarta is regularly hit by floods during the rainy season, which started in late November.

But this week’s disaster marked Jakarta’s worst flooding since 2013 when dozens were killed after the city was inundated by monsoon rains.

“This year’s flooding was phenomenally bad because of the extremely high rainfall,” said Yayat Supriatna, a Jakarta-based urban planning expert.

But Jakarta’s myriad infrastructure problems, including poor drainage and rampant overdevelopment, worsened the situation, he added.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has announced a plan to move the country’s capital to Borneo island to take pressure off Jakarta, which suffers from some of the world’s worst traffic jams and is fast sinking due to excessive groundwater extraction.

AFP

Nine Dead After Indonesian Capital Hit By New Year Flooding

 

 

Nine people died after Indonesia’s capital was hit by its deadliest flooding in years, authorities said Wednesday, as torrential rains on New Year’s Eve left vast swathes of the megalopolis submerged.

Electricity was switched off in hundreds of waterlogged neighbourhoods across greater Jakarta, home to about 30 million people, with some train lines and one of the city’s airports also shut.

A 16-year-old was electrocuted by a power line, while three more people died of hypothermia said Jakarta disaster management agency head Subejo.

“We’re hoping that the floodwaters will recede, but if the rain keeps up it’ll continue,” said the official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

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Among the victims was an elderly couple trapped inside their home in a district where floodwaters reached as high as four metres (13 feet) after a river burst its banks.

Another victim drowned while four people were killed after the Tuesday evening downpour triggered landslides in the city’s outskirts.

“We have shut down power (in many areas) to avoid more electrical shocks,” Ikhsan Asaad, an official at state firm PLN, told AFP.

Asaad said he could not estimate how many residents had been affected by the power shutdown.

“We’re currently focusing on taking measures to ensure people’s safety,” he added

Authorities said about 13,000 people were evacuated, but that figure did not include residents in Jakarta’s satellite cities.

“We’re evacuating people right now,” Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan told reporters.

“Everyone living near rivers should anticipate (more) flooding,” he added.

Images from across the region showed waterlogged homes and cars submerged in muddy floodwaters, while some people took to paddling in small rubber lifeboats or tyre inner-tubes to get around.

The disaster marked Jakarta’s worst flooding since 2013 when several dozen people were killed when the city was inundated by monsoon rains.

Jakarta is regularly hit by floods during Indonesia’s rainy season, which started in late November.

On Wednesday, service at Halim Perdanakusuma airport, which handles commercial and military planes, was temporarily shut due to severe flooding on its runways, according to the transport ministry.

Many flights were transferred to Jakarta’s main Soekarno–Hatta International Airport.

‘Catastrophic’ Floods Could Provoke Famine In South Sudan, WFP Warns

 

Devastating flooding in South Sudan following a fierce drought could tip parts of the country into famine in the next few months, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Thursday.

According to the UN refugee agency nearly one million people were affected by floodwaters that submerged entire towns, compounding an already dire humanitarian situation after six years of war.

The WFP said that 5.5 million people are expected to be going hungry in early 2020 — the time at which the population is generally benefiting from their harvest in October and November of the previous year.

An earlier harvest failed due to drought. This time crops have been washed away.

“The number of people in need is likely to increase because of the catastrophic level of destruction caused by floods since October following a drought that hammered parts of the country earlier in the year,” the agency said in a statement.

The floods wiped out 73,000 metric tons of potential harvests as well as tens of thousands of cattle and goats, said the WFP.

“We know the problems that we’ve been having in South Sudan, but the rains and the floods have led to a national disaster and are much worse than anyone could have anticipated,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.

“In fact, if we don’t get funding in the next few weeks and months, we are literally talking about famine. We need support, we need help and we need it now.”

The agency estimated its needs at $270 million (242 million euros) for the first half of 2020.

South Sudan declared a “man-made” famine affecting around 100,000 people in 2017.

The term “famine” is used according to a scientific system agreed upon by global agencies, when at least 20 percent of the population in a specific area has extremely limited access to basic food; acute malnutrition exceeds 30 percent; and the death rate exceeds two per 10,000 people per day for the entire population.

“Famine in South Sudan was defeated after four months in 2017 by a concerted large-scale humanitarian response,” said the WFP.

“Experts now say the country’s food security outlook has never been so dire.”

Political instability is also high as President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar have again delayed their formation of a power-sharing government, this time by 100 days until February 2020.

AFP

Lagos To Tackle Floods With N9bn, Proposes N1.168trn 2020 Budget

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presents the 2020 Budget estimate at the Lagos House of Assembly in Alausa, Ikeja, on November 8, 2019.

 

 

The Lagos State government has revealed plans to aggressively tackle the floods that hit parts of the state recently.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the indication while presenting a budget proposal of N1.168 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year to members of the State House of Assembly on Friday.

He explained that his administration has tripled the funds earmarked to address the recurrent challenges of flooding in the state.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle these observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020.

“We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the state next year,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.

He also unveiled the plan to accelerate the growth of the state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities – physical infrastructure, environment, human capital, and security.

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According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, the 2020 budget will be funded from a projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.071 trillion while a budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed through internal and external loans.

Besides, he disclosed that the fiscal proposal also included a provision for the new minimum wage.

A breakdown of the budget tagged “Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, revealed that 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending was earmarked for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure will take N444.81 billion, representing 38 per cent.

Further analysis shows that about N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure will go for personnel costs and other staff-related expenses, representing 22.02 per cent of the total revenue.

The governor noted that this was within the acceptable wage policy which benchmarked 25 per cent staff overheads in the budget.

He was hopeful that the proposed budget would help the state achieve a sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth through investment in infrastructure and security.

Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the budget would improve civic engagement in governance and foster partnership with the Federal Government and the civil society.

He noted that Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change, stressing that his administration would earmark huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure.

“Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity.

“These levels of migration put a phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state,” the governor said.

He added, “This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health, and other physical infrastructure sectors.

“As of September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.”

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, praised the governor for accepting the responsibility to tackle the challenges in the state.

He believes Governor Sanwo-Olu’s activities since his assumption of office have re-assured residents of his zeal to fix the inherited problems.

Obasa promised that the Assembly would ensure the speedy passage of the budget and make it a “New Year” gift for the people.

One Reported Killed As Flood Hits 37 Communities In Benue

 

One person has been reported drowned as flood submerges schools, power installations, and rice farms in 37 communities of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The incident has forced hundreds of residents from their homes as they now take refuge along the Guto-Oweto highway in the state.

The flood is a result of an overflow of the shallow River Benue which could not contain the release of excess water from the Lado Dam in Cameroon.

Residents of Utugolugu, one of the affected communities lamented in an interview with Channels Television that they have been victims of floods since 2012.

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The floods hit the communities while the people of Agatu, one of the worst-hit areas in Benue from the many years of herdsmen attacks, were still in the recovery process.

During a visit to some of the affected areas, Channels Television uncovered a submerged transformer which holds great danger for anyone who attempts any form of evacuating their belongings.

 

The most dangerous part of the flood was a twenty-minute boat ride to Utugolugu where the entire community was submerged.

Residents in this community practically live in the water, cook on elevated wooden platforms, and sleeps on the roofs of their homes.

Some of the residents, Oigene Haruna and Queen Matthew, urged the government to come to their rescue, saying the suffering was much for them.

 

According to the, their children have no access to their school and no functional hospital while they have continued to live right inside the water for more than three months.

The lawmaker representing Agatu State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Godwin Edoh, and the Ada’Agatu, Godwin Onah, said the situation requires an urgent intervention of the government.

227 Inmates Escape, Over 100 Rearrested As Flood Sacks Kogi Correctional Home

PHOTO: The flooded correctional home in Kogi. INSET: Some of the rearrested inmates.
PHOTO: The flooded correctional home in Koton-Karfe, Kogi. INSET: Some of the rearrested inmates.

 

A total number of 227 prisoners escaped on Monday while over 100 were rearrested after an early morning downpour in Koton-Karfe, Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi.

The heavy downpour resulted in the flood which caused some parts of the correctional centre including the fence to cave in, thereby giving room for escape.

READ ALSO: Flood Ravages Community, Renders Residents Homeless In Taraba

The Controller General of Prison Jafaru Ahmed who was at the Koto-Karfe correctional center to assess the level of damage on the facility told Channels Television that some of the inmates returned to the centre on their own volition while others were recaptured by security agents.

“As at 3:00 am the flood started and as at 5:00 am the prisoners were able to escape. Some of those who escaped, as I speak to you, are returning.

“Others have been captured following efforts by security agencies including the Police, the Army, and the Navy who have assisted to secure the place.

“Search parties have gone into the bush to recapture others.”

Ahmed, however, described the situation as a natural disaster and added that efforts are on to track the remaining 98 inmates. He disclosed that the inmates will be moved to another correctional home.

Special Adviser the Kogi State Governor on Security, Jerry Omodara, who was also at the scene of the disaster told Channels Television that over 100 of the escaped inmates have been rearrested.

He appealed to Kogi residents with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the other inmates on the run to contact the nearest police station.

This is not the first time inmates will escape from the Koto-Karfe prison as a similar incident was recorded in 2016 when about 13 inmates broke their cells and escaped through the fence.

Ondo Varsity Final-Year Student Swept Away By Flood

 

Heavy downpour which lasted for almost eight hours has claimed the life of a final year student of Ondo State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko.

Channels Television gathered that the deceased simply called ‘Doyin’, an Indigene of Ekiti State, was swept away to an unknown destination by heavy flood from a canal very close to her residence in the town.

The Commissioner for Agriculture in Ondo State, who is an indigene of the town, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati paid a condolence visit to the scene.

Adefarati cautioned those who are in the habit of blocking the drainages with refuse to desist from such act. He also advised against building houses close to canals, to prevent flooding.

The traditional ruler of the town, Alale of Akungba, Oba Sunday Adeyeye Ajimo appealed to the state and federal governments to come to the aid to the town in controlling flood.

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He lamented that properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed in the community while roads, bridges, and hotels with vehicles were badly damaged by the flood.

A statement signed by the Acting Registrar of the University, Opeolu Akinfemiwa directed all academic activities to be suspended till the following day.

According to him, the university is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to find the missing student.

He added that divers and other volunteers have been sought to search the path of the river in a bid to find the missing undergraduate.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Akungba,  Shakiru Ajibola, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), confirmed the incident and said three persons including a landlord of the house where the girl was carried away by the flood were rescued.

He noted that divers were still looking for the undergraduate in the neighbouring rivers.

Three Children Die In Delta Flood

 

Three children have lost their lives in a recent flooding that ravaged communities in Warri North council area of Delta State.

The children – a girl and two boys, from two separate families, were aged two, four and five years old.

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While their parents and members of the community have been mourning the loss, they have also called on the Federal Government to put measures in place to prevent future tragedies caused as a result of flooding.

Death Toll From Spanish Flood Rises To Seven

A handout picture released by the Spanish army’s emergency unit UME shows a flooded area in the eastern province of Murcia on September 14, 2019. Handout / UME / AFP

 

The death toll from torrential rains and floods in southeastern Spain rose to seven on Tuesday after the discovery of the body of a missing 66-year-old Dutch national, local officials said.

The alarm was raised on Sunday after a man was sucked into flood water in a canal at Dolores, a town 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Alicante.

The body, matching a description by the Dutchman’s family, was recovered in San Fulgencio village several kilometres (miles) away, said a central governent spokesman in the region.

Torrential rains battered the area between Wednesday and Sunday, causing widespread flooding and leaving many areas cut off. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes with help from the army.

AFP