The sound of rain is supposed to be good news, but these days it is causing heart-aching anxiety for so many communities and homes. Over the last few years, rainfall, which has blessed the baskets of many people has also served as the source of sorrow to many who have lost people or other valuables to flooding. This is the new reality that comes with rainfall in Lagos state and other regions in Nigeria.
Despite the irregularities in our weather condition over the past months, one should be grateful that the rain came quite early this year, although inconsistent, it was heavy in the few cases that has been experienced in Lagos. The rain seems to be giving us a hint of what is to come. There is every likelihood of a torrent.
The big question is, how prepared are we?
Research has it that pluvial flooding events (rainfall related) in Lagos has become an annual event usually between July and October and an increased severity from 1960 onwards (Research Gate). Studies also show that more severe flooding has been recorded in selected areas of Lagos including Lagos Island, Apapa, Ikeja, Mushin, Surulere etc. Major causes of this event include poor environmental management and the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste. Sadly, that has led hundreds to their early grave and some to homelessness. The Lagos state commissioner for the environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, stated at the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions on 10th March 2020 that Lagos State will experience a rainy season of about 240 to 270 days. He also added that there will be days with extremely high rainfall which may result in sea level rise and flooding (Punch Newspaper, 11th March 2020).
The information above reveals to us how crucial our preparation is. There is a correlation between waste management and flood control. Hence, we cannot keep turning a blind eye and pretending as though the devastation caused by flooding is nothing to worry about. Why? Flooding in Lagos is largely caused by blocked drainages, and it is sad how much blockages we still find in drainages when we went on our last sensitization outreach. This shows that there is a lot to be done by sensitizing the populace and influencing their actions. Minimizing flood in Lagos this year starts with every individual. We must be environmentally conscious in our day to day activities.
In preparing for the showers
- We must the take responsibility of the drainage system around us.
- Now is the time to clear drainages in our communities religiously, and not wait for government. It is primarily our responsibility but ours, government can only come in where it is large scale, like in canals.
- We are the ones at risk if disasters such as flood happens in our immediate environment. We should also consciously fight the temptation of turning wastes into gutters and sensitize our neighbors about the danger of doing such.
- We must desist from dumping wastes indiscreetly on the roads, especially plastic waste. Do not say, it is just one plastic. Remember if everyone in Lagos said, “it is just one plastic”, we would have about 21 million plastic waste on the street of Lagos, and in the same scenario, about 7 billion litters in the world. So do not start the chain or contribute to litters.
Let us work hand in hand with the government by obeying necessary rules and regulation about environmental sanitation. We at OptiGreen promise you that these little efforts will go a long way in helping us achieve a safer environment this year. You will literarily see the results yourself.
Written by Oluwabukola Olajide