In a bid to forestall the incidence of flash floods in Ogun State, the Ministry of Environment, has advised residents to desist from acts that can inhibit the free flow of excess precipitation during the rainy periods.
Commissioner in the Ministry, Mr. Ola Oresanya gave the advice while speaking at a press conference at the Olusegun Osoba Press Center, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, saying those living beside river banks and flood plains should also avoid dumping waste into drains and streams or rivers and prepare to relocate temporarily if need be.
The Commissioner noted that the alert was based on the predictions of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), indicating that Ogun State would have two seasons of rainfalls, with the first season between April and July with rainfall averages of 1658mm, while the second would be between September to November with an average of 1988m.
He said residents in Onikoko, Sokori, Arakangba, Owa, Yemule, Eruwuru, Ebute Kimobi, Isaka Owode, Ogijo, Ilaro and Ijoko should therefore expect flash floods due to heavy rainfall within short periods, while those in Alagbole, Akute, Isheri, Warewa, Oke-Afa, Mowe- Ibafo, Kara, Onihale, Ebute-kimono and Riverside Estate would witness coastal flooding due to the tidal lock of Ogun River by Lagos Lagoon from the natural rise in sea-level coupled with the possible release of water from Oyan Dam.
Oresanya, while recalling the devastating effects of last year’s rain in the State, stated that flash floods were mitigated due to the efforts of the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration, adding that since 2019 the Ministry had commenced regular maintenance of drainages, opening water courses regularly, providing hydraulic structures on all-road constructions sites coupled with improved waste management practices.
He said, ‘’residents should ensure that they desist from building on run-off routes and placement or temporary structures and containers or extension of business premises on top of drains in markets and public places’’.
The Commissioner lauded the effort of the Presidential Committee for the Development of a Compressive Plan of Action for preventing flood disasters while acknowledging the impact of NEWMAP intervention projects in the State, adding that the following flood helplines – 0803640194 09010480056 for flood emergencies, assuring that the numbers would be available any time of the day.
Contributing, the Managing Director, Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu said his agency is ready to work with the Ministry to make sure the State is better prepared, to reduce the effects of the rain, adding that residents would be duly informed ahead of time the dam was to be released.