The rainy season is here again and to some Lagos residents the fear of rain is the beginning of wisdom. This is on account of the attendant inconveniences that come with it. Whenever it rains in Lagos, the roads are overtaken by flood, the traffic is locked down and commuters get stranded. In the past, some residential houses have reportedly collapsed. This is not to mention the increase in incidences of malaria and water-borne diseases as well as a near shut down of social and economic activities are some of the expected fallout from the heavy rainfall.
This year may be worse. The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Tunji Bello had recently announced that there will be 260 days of rainfall this year. In 2014 Lagos state experienced 236 days of rain fall.
According to Bello Lagos will experience a rainy season of between 245 and 260 days, with the maximum annual rainfall predicted to be around 1,824mm, is expected.
His words: “In general, this year’s rainfall has been predicted to have a delay onset of about two to 13 days, with dates range between March 26 and April 2, while the season ending is predicted to range between December 3 and 11, 2015.
Therefore, Lagosians are bracing up to face the odds. For some of us, it is going to be showers of blessings. For others, it will be hell on earth. How prepared are they for the rains?
For Alhaji Idowu Lawal, former Community Development Chairman of Estate/Pipeline Community Development Association in Agbado/Oke-Oke Local Council Development Authority, the statistics are annual rituals residents of the community face every year.
Lawal lamented that government at the local, state and federal levels seem to have neglected the community.
According to him, “I have led members of my executive in the past to pay courtesy visits to past and present chairmen of Agbado-Oke-Odo LCDA, where we pleaded with them to assist in re-building roads and gutters damaged by floods.
Regrettably, nothing has been done in these areas, even as residents of Pipeline/Estate community have so far contributed N700, 000 to repair roads, construct culverts and carry out other community services in the area.
But, observations around the community showed that Pipeline road, Old Ota road, Bolatitio street, Adesina street, Mohammed Sadiku, Unity road and Igoke Estate areas, seem to be some of the streets worst hit in the last couple of years by the rampaging floods.
The former CDA chairman confirmed these, saying that in April 2014 for instance two landlords and their tenants were rendered homeless at Bolatitio Street in Oke-Odo when the rains were at its peak.
To Ola Rotimi, a resident of Ijaiye in Ojokoro area of Lagos, the rainy season is always hellish for Lagosians resident in the area. It is collapsed building will be reported, children could be carried away by floods or an entire street could simply collapse.
Rotimi wondered what could be his fate, saying that the roof is leaking and “I need money urgently to fix the roof or else, members of my family will be ready to scoop water out of the flats when the rains begin”.
However, independent observations around various parts of the Lagos metropolis further revealed that some streets around Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Makoko, Agege, Alagabdo, Ikeja, Oyingbo, Mafoluku will be worst hit by floods, leading to collapse of buildings, and blocked roads and culverts.
Bello is calling on Lagosians to clean-up the gutters, stop dumping wastes inside the gutters and keep their surrounding clean at all times in order to avert the negative effects of the rainy season.
Janet Bassey, a teacher said that it is during the rainy season that the onset of malaria is always at its peak. But, I have prepared for it as I took my daughter, Precious to the hospital for medical check-up, where some drugs were administered to her by medical personnel.
However, Lagos state commissioner for environment is insisting that Lagosians should not wait till the last Saturday of the month to clean-up their environment or the Thursday cleaning up days for the traders.
“This is because with the rainy season, wastes dumped inside the gutters could prevent the free flow of water which could in turn block the gutters, leading to floods”
Bello also appealed to motorists to be careful while driving along roads like Obafemi Awolowo Way, Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, Ikorodu road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor road, Bar Beach area in Victoria Island, Awolowo road in Ikoyi as well as parts of Obalende as these areas are prone to floods.