The Lagos State Government must intensify its flood management efforts so that communities in Epe, Eti-Osa, Amuwo Odofin, Ojo, Kosofe, Lagos Island, Apapa, Ibeju-Lekki and Ikorodu Local Governments would not be submerged.
The Victoria Island branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) gave the advice on Thursday at a conference and paper presentation on the solutions to flooding in Lagos State.
It said that a recent research showed that Eti-Osa could be totally submerged in a few years time if there were no concrete management of flooding on Victoria Island.
It therefore called on the state government to relocate residents in flood prone areas elsewhere before it happened.
It also suggested the need for environmentalists, sociologists, lawyers, engineers, economists and other professionals to collaborate with the state government and jointly finds lasting solutions to flooding.
Sunday Egbiki, one of the panelists in his paper presentation said that the piecemeal approach of cleaning drainage channels would not work on Victoria Island.
Egbiki, a fellow of the NSE, said that some parts in the state were lying below the sea level and if urgent measures were not adopted, such would soon be completely submerged by flood.
Egbiki who spoke on, “Engineering Flood Management and Disaster Mitigation”, advised the state government to relocate residents of the local governments susceptible to perennial flooding elsewhere.
The government after that should convert those portions to tourism centres, parks and lakes that could attract revenue to the state as done by the government of the Netherlands some years ago, he said.
“The traditional approach of solving flood and drainage problems must change if we are to achieve any meaningful and sustainable progress in this area,” he said.
He said that the Lagos State Government should adopt the Integrated Flood Management (IFM) system, which he said if well implemented would end flooding.
Egbiki listed causes of flooding to include: climate change, increased rate of urbanisation along flood plains, inadequate maintenance of infrastructure and sea level rise.
Also, John Audu, another fellow of the NSE, delivered a paper on “Safety Precaution for the Public in the event of disaster”.
He advised residents to always disconnect all electrical appliances in their homes when an area is flooded to guide against being victims of electrocution.
Audu also advised the public to always keep emergency numbers and call for help on time, use disinfectants and adopt other hygienic measures to avoid an outbreak of diseases during and after flooding.
Also, the Victoria Island Branch chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Moyosore, advised governments to always heed experts’ advice on issues likely to affect the public.
He said that a warning in March which was ignored led to the flood disaster experienced on Victoria Island last month.
Moyosore said that the branch was planning to sensitise the residents of the various communities along the waterfront through their community leaders on the importance keeping clean drainage systems.
Other speakers called on government to check the indiscriminate development and sand filling going on in various parts of the waterfront and flood prone areas in the state.