Independent reports that members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lagos Chapter, have called for strategies and policies to combat flooding in the country.
They spoke during the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the body held at Academy Inn & Multipurpose Halls, Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos State.
With a theme: “The Challenges Of Managing Flood In Lagos Mega City”, speakers at the event, who reviewed the threats from flooding both on the global and local scene, said the topic for discussion was apt.
Town Planner, Kunle Salami, Chairman, NITP Lagos in his welcome address, said the event, which provided a rare opportunity to mingle with town planners and other professionals to discuss issue of flood, a very important issue that has an international dimension, could not have been discussed at a better time.
Salami added that, with the threats from flooding in Lagos and other parts of the country, there was need for an all-inclusive approach to address the menace, threatening cities and real estate investments in the country.
“I want to say that all of us, I mean all of us – government and members of the public – have to adequately equip ourselves with desired strategies and proactive measures to battle challenges resulting from flooding in the state.”
Mr. Luka Achi, president, NITP, said the country was still dealing with floods that have taken over several of our settlements, the latest being Owerri.
Achi, who was represented by Mr. Toyin Ayinde, second vice president of the institute, noted that he just returned from Kogi State and what he saw in Lokoja and the neighbouring areas, concerning the consequences of flooding were quite frightening.
Lagos, according to him, was not an exception. “Our very own Lagos, the commercial nerve center of Nigeria has had its share of flooding this year with prime estates like Lekki being severely threatened.
“And various governments seem confused, getting more excitement from spending on relief materials rather than investing in sustainable measures to solve the problem. Several predictions indeed have it that by 2050 some parts of this mega city would be submerged and one cannot but wonder what we are all doing about it.”
He added: “It is in light of the foregoing that I would like to commend the Lagos State Chapter for the choice of this topic for discussion in its 2017 AGM. It will no doubt provide a guiding light for the relevant authorities to address this very important issue that is a potential threat to lives and livelihoods.”
Hakeem Ogunbambi, guest speaker at the event said the topography of Lagos, put the state at a disadvantage, as water from Ogun River, Oyo and adjourning states naturally flow into the state.
“The state is being plagued by coastal area flooding due to the inundation of the lagoon, estuaries and coastlands with ocean wave and storm surges, high tidal levels and arbitrary and unregulated modification of shorelines, such as the recent flooding of Lekki peninsula, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and coastal areas of Lagos.”
Ogunbambi, a retired Permanent Secretary from the Lagos Civil Service and an expert on flood, revealed that human activities, such as building or erecting structure on flood plain, dumping of refuse in drainages were major reasons why Lagos is always flooded.
Mr. Olusegun Emdin, Coordinating Consultant/Chief Executive, MEPAS & PRODEL Nig. Limited, said Lagos state must reach out to other states, if it must successfully overcoming the challenges from flooding, adding that, there was need to have in place a committee on flood control.
Moses Ogunleye said, most times, we make noise during emergency, and immediately after a window-dressing approach we go to sleep.
He added that several governments were culpable of flooding, alleging that most state governments were in the habit of diverting ecological fund to something else.