Lagos floods: Residents, workers, commuters lament economic paralysis

…As LASG calls for calm, promises swift response

…Trash in floodwater: Lagos Govt identifies, takes action against culprits

…‘Area Boys’ arrested for extorting ‘N100’ pedestrians at make-shift Bridge

By Sodiq Adelakun

Torrential rainfall in Lagos on Wednesday has left a trail of devastation, with flooded streets, restricted movements, and crippled economic activities.

Residents, workers, and commuters in the state lamented the difficulties caused by the flood, which has wreaked havoc on the city’s infrastructure and daily life.

The flood has not only disrupted transportation and business operations but also raised concerns about the state’s preparedness to mitigate the effects of heavy rainfall.

Amid the relentless rainfall and ensuing floods, residents and workers have voiced their frustration over restricted mobility and increased transport costs.

The flooded roads are nearly impassable causing gridlock and discomfort for commuters.

Many Lagosians heading out for daily activities on Wednesday morning registered their lamentations on social media while advising others to stay at home.

It was gathered circulating on social media and verified that places like Iyana-Oworo, Oshodi, Lekki, Ikeja, Egbeda, and Gbagada were flooded on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Ayodele Olatunbosu, a civil servant, expressed his frustration to NewsDirect, saying, “This rain is frustrating, I’m late for work and stuck on the road.

“The government needs to act now. It’s unacceptable that we’re stuck in this situation every year, and nothing seems to be done about it.”

Also, Alimi Akeem, a trader, lamented the spoilage of his goods, saying, “My goods are spoiling because I can’t reach the market. This flood is disastrous, The government should have fixed the drainage system long ago. It’s not like this is a new problem, but they keep neglecting it.”

Abolade Rasheed, a teacher, stated that the flooding has affected his productivity, saying, “The rain is affecting our productivity. We can’t get to school. The government needs urgent action. How can we expect our students to learn when we can’t even get to school?”

The flooding caused gridlock and disruption in transportation, businesses, and daily activities, with many calling on the government to address the issue of flooding in the state.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has promised to address the issue by constructing larger drainage channels and improving the state’s drainage system. However, residents and workers are urging the government to take immediate action to alleviate the suffering caused by the flooding.

Residents and workers are calling on the government to act swiftly to address the issue and prevent further damage to properties and disruption of economic activities.

The current flooding has also led to a surge in transport fares, compounding the hardships faced by residents and workers.

Oluwaseun Olatunbosun shared, “Fares from my house to Ikeja rose from N1,000 to N1,400 due to the rain. It’s unbearable!”

Favour Blessing added, “Sometimes I miss work because I can’t afford the higher fares during rainy periods. It’s concerning given the economic situation.”

While urging patience, the Lagos State Government assured residents that floodwaters would subside soon.

Nevertheless, there’s a growing chorus demanding tangible actions rather than assurances from the government.

Shola Ayodele emphasised, “We need action, not just promises. The government must resolve this issue once and for all!”

As residents brace for further challenges posed by the ongoing rains, the call for effective flood management measures remains urgent in Lagos.

The Lagos State Government has also called for calm over the flash flood caused by the torrential rainfall experienced throughout the state.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, made the plea in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.

“Lagos has experienced about nine hours of non-stop rainfall since the early hours of Wednesday. This is coupled with the heavy rainfall which the state has been experiencing daily since the previous week, resulting in the rise in level of the Lagos lagoon,” Wahab said.

He assured residents that the flash floods, which inundated areas such as Iyana-Oworo linking the Third Mainland and several other areas, would recede once the rains abate and the level of the lagoon reduces.

“We have deployed officials of the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang to major black spots, including Iyana-Oworo, which has been cleared of all blockages,” Wahab said.

He urged all those in low-lying areas to relocate to higher grounds to safeguard lives and properties.

“We urge residents to desist from wading through floods with their vehicles, as it takes only a feet of flowing water with high tide to sweep away a vehicle, irrespective of the number of occupants,” he warned.

Wahab also urged all residents to avail themselves of daily weather reports as issued by the State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, as it serves as a guide to daily itinerary.

“Lagos is a coastal city with almost one-third of its landmass under water, as such necessitating a genuine reason for every resident to be more responsive to the state of the environment,” he noted.

The government, on its part, has embarked upon a year-long maintenance and cleaning of all its secondary and primary collectors to be able to contain runoffs that may come from heavy rainfalls.

“We are committed to ensuring the safety of lives and properties, and we will do everything possible to mitigate the effects of the flood,” Wahab assured.

He also revealed the Lagos State Government has identified and taken action against two residents caught disposing of trash in floodwater in the Ijesha community, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Area.

A photo shared on social media showed a man and woman rolling a trash drum in the flooded water on their street.

The resident who shared the photo, Adetutuadeoye3, alleged that the accused threw their waste into the floodwater. “These people just poured out their waste in the flood water. This is no 2 Akewukewe Street beside Ikate Local Government in Ijesha Surulere,” she wrote.

Wahab responded, “Thank you for bringing it to our attention. @muyiwag @lawma_gov, please take note.” The commissioner confirmed that the building had been identified and locked by the Environmental Health Service Department of Itire-Ikate LCDA.

This incident highlights the broader challenges facing Lagos residents, who have been struggling with flooding in various parts of the city.

Videos and pictures posted online showed the extent of the flooding, which began around 3 a.m. and left many residents stranded in their homes and streets impassable.

Recall that similar flooding incidents have occurred in Lagos in the past, causing damage to properties and disrupting economic activities.

The government has promised to address the issue by constructing larger drainage channels and improving the state’s drainage system. However, residents and workers are urging the government to take immediate action to alleviate the suffering caused by the flooding.

As Wahab noted, “Lagos is a coastal city with almost one-third of its landmass under water, as such necessitating a genuine reason for every resident to be more responsive to the state of the environment.”

He also said the Lagos State Government has taken swift action against miscreants who were extorting pedestrians at a make-shift crossover bridge in the Trade Fair area of the state.

The miscreants, popularly known as “area boys,” were arrested by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) after a citizen reported the extortion on Wednesday.

According to him, the arrests were made possible thanks to a complaint filed by a concerned citizen, #ARISE0214, on (link unavailable) Wahab confirmed the arrests on his X (formerly Twitter) account, stating that the miscreants would be prosecuted according to the law.

The extortion incident occurred following heavy rainfall in the area, which led to the creation of a makeshift crossover bridge. The area boys had taken advantage of the situation to charge pedestrians N100 to use the bridge.

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