Fashola declares tomorrow public holiday as heavier than normal rainfall brings Lagos to its knees.
Torrential rains which started early Sunday, (about 0530 local time by some accounts) and has been ongoing for 15 hours straight has brought Lagos to a standstill. The rain has left roads in Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Lekki, Ajah, Surulere, Oshodi, Ikeja, and other parts of the megapolis with water levels as high as 3 feet and 5 feet in some areas.
The flood has practically shut down the entire state forcing Lagos State government officials to issue statements urging residents to remain indoors and calm.
In an update, the Lagos state government has declared tomorrow, Monday 11 July, 2011 as a public holiday as a result of today’s torrential downpour which has blanketed the state for the last 16 hours and is still pouring.
Update: Statement from the Governor’s office
FLOODING IN LAGOS STATE: STAY-AT-HOME ORDER FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN.
Due to the heavy downpour experienced in Lagos State today, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has directed that all children in public schools remain at home tomorrow to enable the State Government assess the impact of the flood on property and social infrastructure across the State.
Mindful of the fact that examinations commence on Tuesday, His Excellency the Governor wishes to appeal for special dispensation to protect these children- the most vulnerable members of our society, from the devastating effects floods and heavy rains can cause.
Proprietors of private schools are also advised to take a cue from this and keep their children at home as much as possible, until the impact of the heavy rains have been suitably assessed and potential dangers addressed.
The rains that began as early as 5 am today have continued consistently and created a situation where the channels (that are supposed to discharge water from the roads and drainages into the lagoon) are locked. The tide is unusually high, and the level of the Atlantic Ocean has risen significantly.
Even though the drainages across the state were recently cleared and fully operative, the high levels of water from the rainfall like recent occurrences in the developed and developing world have been unusually high, which no standard drainage- no matter how efficient can contain.
The State Government had earlier warned that the rains this year are likely to be more intense than usual, and these predictions are manifesting. There are no guarantees that these intense rains will not continue.
What the State Government guarantees however, is that all our resources have been deployed to minimize the impact of the floods and minimize the inconvenience of this natural occurrence. Our men are on the field 24 hours to assuage the sufferings of Lagosians during these times.
We therefore appeal for patience and extra precaution from all Lagosians to mitigate the dangers that the persistent rains have caused.
We would like to seize this opportunity to appeal to workers to as much as possible keep within the confines of their homes to avoid congestion on the roads and highways. Businessmen and self employed citizens who can afford to work from home should please do so tomorrow to enable us work throughout the day without congestion on the roads.
While we are working hard on a long-term solution to the flooding challenges in Lagos State, we appeal to Lagosians to please keep aware of their personal safety and security, and direct all your questions and emergencies to:
Hon. Tunji Bello: Hon. Commissioner for Environment: 08035272200
Engr. Akinsanya- 08034026936
Engr. Ogunbambi: 08023119254
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We are working assiduously to bring this situation under control.