Floods made the second highest damage out of all natural disasters. The incidence of flooding was not circumscribed to Nigeria alone, nor was it a peculiarity of the Third World.
However, the sunset never seems to be dimming in the state of nations, hence the government environmental neglect towards nature most especially water.
Management of water resources as well as environmental control remains a great challenge facing most developing countries of the world.
Recalled that the UK was heavily flooded this year and, indeed, witnessed some of its worst flooding since records started in 1901.
Also Japan, a country that was equally technologically savvy, had also not been spared heavy flooding this year.
Nature war is a milder way to describe the states in Nigeria, such as Lagos State: Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Lekki, Ajah, Niger State, Katsina State and environs as panicked citizens endured a weekend of torrential downpour and thunderstorms, which left many parts of the city flooded.
The failure of government to cater and nurture the environment has led to down fall of great nations in the world, the tsunami and earthquake effect on nations is beyond measure.
In Nigeria, the people generally has lackadaisical attitude towards the nature of environment such as water, land reclamation and trees, dumping of refuse and lack of enforcement of physical planning laws as they relate to illegal structures on drainages, blockage of drainages, negligence on the part of the community members and illegal structures obstructing free flow of water.
Nigeria major cities is at war with nature and nature is unleashing it strategic war through flooding and complete short down of electricity and makes live unbearable in major cities in the country, nature seems to be winning the war unleashed by the people.
Flooding destroyed crops and farmlands as well as animals and other household items.
Flood throws Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki Phase 1, Ogombo, Ajah, Sangotedo into darkness.
Residents woke up on Saturday morning to flooding in their homes and their cars submerged under water. Those who were far from the disaster zone could only stare at their hand-held devices and television screens in awe at the flood that didn’t take many by surprise.
One brave resident took to swimming in the infested waters on Lekki road, an affluent suburb that is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the coastal city. Another was spotted kayaking across Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island.
The nation’s commercial capital was hit by days of persistent heavy rain and storms at the height of the rainy season. However, poor drainage systems and inadequate urban planning have compounded the effects of the downpour.
Following the unprecedented flood that has taken over the entire Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island, Lagos at the weekend, forcing some residents to unceremoniously vacate their premises, the Lagos State Police Command has temporarily closed the road for human and vehicular movements.
According to the command’s spokesman, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, the second link-road to the island coming from Lagos mainland was unsafe for motorists.
He said the downpour has made other roads on the island unsafe, adding that due to the flood and traffic gridlock in parts of Victoria Island and its environs, motorists plying Ahmadu Bello Way and other areas prone to flood have been advised to take alternative routes approved by traffic officials.
“The flood in the area has caused us to temporarily block Ahmadu Bello Way for safety of motorists. We want the public to know that the relevant traffic and security agencies are on ground to flush out the drains and secure road users in the state,” he said.
Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said efforts are ongoing to drain the water out of the road, adding that the decision to divert commuters stemmed from the urgent need to avert disaster as rainwater found its way into the diesel storage of a filling station, a situation he said could lead to a disaster if not properly handled.
Making a bad situation worse, the management of Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) on Sunday announced that there would be power outage in Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki and its environs as the company’s injection substations and equipment were submerged in the flood.
Resident has been indoor due to the continuous rain, a day has become a night to the resident and victim of flood.
The Nigeria number one television broadcasting station the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) network centre on Ahmadu Bello Way in Victoria Island, has been shut owing to the flood, which accrued from the rainfall of the early hours of Saturday.
“Our office has been shut because of the flood. Although the water has gone down now, the management has decided that for safety reasons, activities should be suspended until Monday,” he said.
“There has been no vehicular movement since Wednesday July 5, till now. People in my community have resorted to trekking or using canoe to move about. Some people have even started moving out of the community because of the flood, which destroyed their property,” he said.
Commercial transporters exploited passengers of outrageous amount they paid to get to their destination due to the flood and fare had also skyrocketed.
A student, who declined to give her name, said she spent over four hours in traffic from Oshodi to Ajah because of the flood. She said she and other passengers paid N1,000 from Oshodi to Ajah instead of the usual fare of N400. “People were even rushing to board the bus despite the crazy increase in the fare.”
“I paid N250 from Oshodi to Obalende in order not to pay N1,000, only to get there and the drivers were charging N700 from Obalende to Ajah. It was really annoying.”
The continuous downpour of rain makes a day like night to resident due to heavy downpour which is expected.
Resident were urged to stay indoors, either at home or in their places of work whenever there is a heavy downpour, except when the need to commute becomes necessary.
The government assured the public of heavy deployment of environmental sanitation officers and emergency rescue teams to flood-prone areas of the state.
Government urge Resident to desist from dumping refuse in canals and gutters and observe safe and hygienic conducts at all times in order to reduce the effect of temporary flooding being recorded in some areas.
Residents have packed out of their houses and many businesses have crumbled because of the flood.
“So many businesses have crumbled, so many shops are locked up because no one is patronizing them, half of their shop is water and it is so terrible that most of the residents have moved out.
“When residents contributed money recently and contractors began work we were happy thinking the issue of flood has stop but it only got worse. The problem is poor drainage system. This water will dry up only if it doesn’t rain for the next two weeks.”
“The solution is opening up the channels to the Atlantic, demolishing obstacles on the route, and re-planning the Lekki axis.” More than 2,000 people have been displaced and over 100 houses destroyed following heavy downpour that lasted for hours in Kaita council area of Katsina State.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson for the state Emergency Management Agency, Umar Muhammad lamented on the extent of the havoc caused by the downpour, but that no human life was lost.
Government must continue to make assessment in the flooding area after which intervention would be carried out to the victims. Government must come to the aid of those affected as doing so would help cushion the losses recorded from the incidence.
“For the past few days, the state, and indeed most parts of Nigeria, have witnessed torrential rainfalls seen our most prime estates flooded with water, we have witnessed our roads taken over by floods, and we have painfully watched how many homesteads have literally become pools.
“These indeed are trying times for any government, especially our own administration which has determinedly pursued massive infrastructural development to improve standards of living of our citizenry.”
“This must be pursued hand-in-hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of our water management system. So, in effect, what we should immediately pursue is a holistic solution to what is certain to be a recurring problem. It must be a sincere collaboration between government and the citizenry.”
Government were urged to build a retention pond to serve as a reservoir for storm water for onward release into the nearby river after the rains subside.
The death toll in Suleja Local Council of Niger State where flood wreaked havoc, has risen to 13 while three others are still missing. Four persons were also said to be unconscious, and are receiving treatment in Suleja General Hospital, as seven houses at Nasarawa area of Suleja have been submerged.
It was gathered that the head of the household of seven, Abubakar Saraki, survived; but his six children died. Meanwhile, the Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), Ibrahim Ahmed Inga, said out of the 11 that died in the Suleja flood disaster, eight bodies have been recovered. Inga said four areas were badly affected by last Saturday’s flood in Suleja.
He said 90 houses were destroyed, and no fewer than 500 people displaced; adding that there is the possibility of using primary schools in the area as temporary camps for survivors.
Asked how many farmlands were destroyed, the DG said the agency was yet to take the inventory until securing a camp for those affected is completed. Chairman of Suleja Local Council, Malam Abdullahi Maje, yesterday confirmed 10 persons missing and two bodies recovered in the flood.
Maje said 100 houses were affected in the incident, adding that eight houses were washed away in the flood, which followed 10 hours of heavy rainfall. Witnesses had said eight members of a family were suspected to have died in the flood, which affected Suleja and Tafa local councils. The head of the household was said to have survived but his two wives and six children were not lucky.
The flood affected many families with household effects floating in the water, as many people struggled to bale water out of their houses. Mr. Mohammed Mohammed, the District Police Officer in-charge of Division ‘A’ Police Station in Suleja, could not confirm the casualty figure but said his men had visited the flood scenes.
“The flood affected many people who built their houses along the river bank; many houses have been destroyed with unconfirmed number of deaths recorded. “Police are providing security around the scene so that hoodlums will not cart away victims’ property especially those lying outside,” he said.
At Suleja General Hospital, Musliu Mohammed, a 17-year-old boy, recovered from the flood and brought into the hospital by sympathisers, was placed on admission.
Government must look for a holistic solution to the problem of flooding. The country’s commercial nerve centre has been battling with flooding which hit several parts of the city in the last few days as a result of torrential rainfall.
“For the past few days, the state and indeed most parts of Nigeria, have witnessed torrential rainfall which are quite unprecedented.
“We have witnessed our most prime estates flooded with water; we have seen our roads taken over by floods, and we have painfully watched how many homesteads have literally become pools.
“These indeed are trying times for any government, especially our own administration, which has determinedly pursued massive infrastructural development, to improve standards of living of our citizenry,” Ambode said.
Government must sources for access to and management of water resources, as well as environmental control, remained one of the greatest challenges facing most parts of the developing world.
“Our intention is to explore a wide array of technological advancements and possibilities, to ensure that we obtain the best solution to a rather nagging problem,”
“No matter how well a society may be prepared, we can never rule out the element of the natural or if you like, the supernatural.“This is why Lagos State, and indeed Nigeria, fully subscribes to the tenets of Climate Change Solutions by the United Nations,” Ambode said.
A sensitisation programme was a prelude to WATEC Israel 2017 conference, taking place from Sept. 12 to Sept. 14. The aforementioned programme would enable stakeholders would come together at the conference to deliberate on some critical issues on water technology and environmental control.
The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Guy Feldman, said that every challenge faced created room for planning and solutions.
Mr Guy Feldman asserted that floods made the second highest damage out of all natural disasters.
Hope the government and the people of Nigeria will learn from the torrential downpour and thunderstorms, which left many parts of the city flooded.