Following the release of an updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast for Flood Control by the Ogun -Osun River Basin Authority effective September and the high rainfall being experienced as predicted, Lagos State Government on Sunday 17 September 2023 alerted residents especially those in the downstream of the Ogun River of the likelihood of experiencing flood from this month.
According to a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engineer Lekan Shodeinde the affected catchment areas include Alagbole, Meiran, Maidan, Kara, Isheri-Olowora, Agiliti, Owode-Onirin, Owode-Elede, Agboyi I, Agboyi II, Ajegunle, Itowolo, Majidun, Ibeshe, Baiyeku, Maidan and Lekki-Ajah axis.
He stated that the utmost concern of the state government is safety of lives and properties of residents, urging residents and property owners in the listed areas to be ready to move upland when the water level rises showing signs of flooding just as it is advisable to all residents across the state.
Quoting excerpts from the updated 2023 Water Releases Forecast signed by the managing director of the Ogun- Oshun River Basin Authority, Otunba Olufemi Odumosu” Shodeinde explained that comparatively the total amount of Rainfall recorded from January to August 2023 (1,128.6mm) is higher than that of January to August of the year 2021 (713.4mm) & 2022 (848.1mm).
The Permanent Secretary said comparatively, a total of 968.6mm was recorded as amount of rainfall for the 12 months of 2021, just as a total of 1,140 mm was the recorded amount of rainfall during the 12 months of 2022, while in the first 8 months of 2023, a quantum of 1,128.6mm has already been recorded which means when the remaining four months in the year is factored in’, a very high intensity of rainfall would be recorded for the whole year.
“When some of the other figures released by the Ogun- Oshun River Basin Authority is further scrutinized for volume of water spilled, it shows that for the 12 months of 2021, 1,102mcm was spilled, while for the 12 months of 2022, a total of 1,475.6 mcm was spilled, while in the first eight months of this year, a total of 1,393,1mcm has already been spilled by the River Basin Authority pointing in the direction that more water will be released when factored with the remaining four months in 2023, Shodeinde reiterated.
The Permanent Secretary opined that the water levels of all tributaries including the Oyan Dam are rising and is one of the contributory factors to the possibility of the likely flooding at downstream flow of Ogun River.
He stressed that the same applies to all the channels and tributaries that discharges into the lagoon which may experience tidal lock and flow back because of the high water level that prevent discharges, leading to flash flooding.
Since Oyan River Is one of major tributaries to Ogun River, it is expected that other tributaries will also contribute much to the likely flood downstream flow of Ogun River In mitigating the flood this year, the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority.
He commended the authorities of the Ogun Oshun Basin Development Authority OSRBDA for ensuring that the water releases are being regulated without compromising Oyan Dam integrity while still being guided by all the Seasonal Rainfall Patterns issued by the various agencies.
“As at end of end of August, the Ogun-Oshun River Basin has increased its Daily Releases to 21.4 million cubic meters (mcm) Volume of Water so as to create more space in order to regulate the expected inflow of water from the Catchment Upstream in September this year.
By September, 2023, water releases might rise to average of 22.0 – 24.0 million cubic meter (mcm) per day, this amount of water that will be released shall depend on rate at which water flows into the Reservoir and the height measured in the Reservoir”, the statement quoted the OSRBA added.
Shodeinde added that the alert has become necessary because there is much water to be expected in September 2023 in addition to the heavy downpours that is usually associated with the months of September and December every year along Ogun River Basin and other related predictions and warning from Nigeria Metrological Services (NIMET), Nigeria Hydrological Services (NIHSA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)and other related Agencies.
Also speaking on the release of water from the Lagdo Dam in Cameroun to the Benue River, Engr. Shodeinde assured residents of the state that only 11 states namely Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa, Kogi, Anambra, Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Cross River will be affected by the releases from Lagdo and there is obviously no connection between the Lagdo dam releases and operations of Oyan Dam and the water releases Forecast for Flood Control in Lagos and Ogun State.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated his appeal to all residents across the state to be wary of the fact that Lagos is a coastal city that is bound to experience flash flood and it is expedient for them to cooperate with the state government in ensuring the success of measures put in place including the early warning alert to mitigate the effects of flash flooding.