Home Breaking News Flood wreaks havoc in Nigeria’s most expensive neighbourhoods

Flood wreaks havoc in Nigeria’s most expensive neighbourhoods

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Uwajeh Samuel, tweeting with the address,  @vegsej, wrote that, “I was on my way to the estate this morning. Had to make a turn back to the mainland when I saw the flood on banana island road.”

In a post on social media by one of the residents in the Victoria Island area of Lagos, Bamidele Ademola-Olateju narrated how the downpour kept her indoors.

‘‘I’m rained in! There is water at my gate. One more downpour and my driveway will be flooded. I’m told water is entering a friend’s house through the window. They are all upstairs stranded. Accept my sympathy. Sell the land for N70m and move to Akute. Wahala in Africa’s most affluent slum,’’ she wrote.

The Lagos State Police Command urged commuters to avoid the Ahmadu Bello Way until the flood subsided.

The State Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, in an interview with Channels Television, urged residents to take alternative routes, noting that efforts were ongoing to drain the flood so that the road would be passable.

The police boss said the decision was made to avert disaster, owing to the flood, which found its way into the diesel storage of a filling station.

A Lagos resident who spoke about the situation on condition of anonymity, said, “The major issue is not the heavy rain in Lagos. It is the fact that, over the years, there was no proper planning of the city by successive governments, despite the rapid urbanisation and population increase.”

Other commuters told SUNDAY PUNCH that the frequent flooding in several parts of the affected areas was due to the poor drainage system in Lagos as well as the dredging going on at Eko Atlantic City.

When one of our correspondents visited Obalende and Ikoyi, many residents were seen with various sizes of buckets scooping water out of their flooded homes.

There were also several pictures on the Internet showing apartments in a soggy situation with cars nearly submerged.

A taxi driver, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Obalende, said the deluge paralysed their business, noting that some of their vehicles were stalled in the flood.

According to the driver, the rain started at about 11pm on Friday night and continued into the morning of Saturday.

“Right now, we can’t go into Ikoyi and some other parts of Victoria Island. As you can see, no taxi driver is willing to take the risk of driving to those areas, even though many people are begging us to go. We tell them to either take a motorcycle or trek,” he said.

Commenting on the flooding,  a Senior Lecturer of Geography at the University of Ibadan, Dr. Ibidun Adelekan, described the developmental activities on the islands of Lagos State as magnets for flood.

“So, with more people and buildings, you have more artificial surfaces than natural surfaces — all the construction, roads, and buildings. The natural surfaces, like the soil and vegetated area; when it rains, infiltration can take place. But when you have artificial surfaces, then you have more of run-off. Also, in many parts of Lagos, the drainage capacity is low; in some cases, the drains were constructed many years ago and now you have more rainfall.

“We’ve done some analysis and statistically, we’re having heavier rainfall. So, sometimes, the capacity of the drainage is not enough to carry away the storm water. A lot of drainage channels are blocked or you have people depositing water sachets, tyres and all kinds of things. That also reduces the drainage capacity. Once the storm water goes into the drainage channels, it overflows.

“On the island, we have the coast and that means the elevation is lower. With that, you also have high water tables and lower coastal areas; the underground water is higher, so once there is more rainfall, the infiltration capacity cannot be as high as the mainland area. In the coastal area, there is also a tendency for graduation: the slope goes down towards the sea, so all the water will tend to flow towards the coastal area, that is, the island.  So, we have more water around that area.”

Adelakun called on the Lagos State Government to encourage people not to throw solid waste into the drainage channels.

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