A downpour that lasted about two hours, on Monday, wreaked havoc on different parts of Lagos and Ogun states, destroying property and telecommunications infrastructure, and uprooting trees.
Many residents of the two states could not go about their daily businesses as a result of flood that accompanied the heavy rainfall.
The downpour, which began around 9.30am, forced many residents to stay indoors, while others, who took the risk to leave their houses, got stuck in traffic and at various bus stops.
PUNCH Metro learnt that two buildings partially collapsed in the Abule Egba and Ladipo areas of Lagos, while trees fell on roads and vehicles in different parts of Lagos and Ogun states.
Our correspondents learnt that the roofs of several buildings, including those of two classrooms at a primary school in the Ayede area of Ogun State, were blown off by the rainstorm.
A source, who spoke to one of our correspondents on condition of anonymity, stated that the incident destabilised the pupils.
She said, “The rain affected two classrooms in one of the buildings in the school and the pupils were unable to carry on with their studies, because the classrooms were flooded.
“The roof of the building was just fixed by the school management after several complaints to the state government. We reported the case last year when the roof was leaking, but the government did nothing until the management raised money to fix it and now the rain has spoilt it again. We hope that the incoming governor will help us to fix it and do more in the education sector.”
Another victim of the downpour, who identified himself simply as Johnson, stated, “The strong wind that accompanied the rain destroyed a billboard around the Sango tollgate area and blew off the roofs of six houses.
“The rain also destroyed some kiosks around the Singer bus stop, Ijako, Ogun State.
“There was traffic at the Iyana Ilogbo area of the state because of the water that filled the potholes, which Julius Berger refused to fix, and this caused drivers to drive slowly, which resulted in heavy traffic.
“Some electric poles fell in the Ifo area of the state, which will make some areas not to have power supply.”
A businessman in the Ikeja area of Lagos, Longimus Onye, who lamented the delay in displaying his wares because of the rain, expressed optimism of making a profit for the day.
“Because of the rain, I could not display my wares on time but I hope people will still come out and buy, but I want to urge the government to fill the potholes on the road from Agege to Ikeja in order to reduce the traffic problem,” he said.
The General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Adesina Tiamiyu, confirmed the partial collapse of some buildings as well as trees being uprooted due to the rainfall.
He, however, noted that no life was lost.
Tiamiyu stated, “What we had around Lagos today (Monday) were the wreckages of the heavy rain and windstorm. We had trees falling all over the place in Ikoyi, Alausa, Ikeja GRA and some part of Agege Motor Road, and we sent out our team together with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens officials to cut them into pieces and pack them off the road.
“We also had records of accidents caused by low visibility, but no life was lost in all the occurrences.”
According to the Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, Sanusi Abdulateef, the rainy season comes with a lot of emergencies similar to what happened on Monday, adding that officials of the agency were on top of the situation to restore normalcy in the affected areas.
He said, “We have been up and doing since morning, because we had envisaged this kind of problem, and what we did was to divide the state into six regions. Each region is being managed by an emergency team.
“If you look around now, 80 per cent of the trees have been removed from the roads to put an end to the gridlock. Where we have not been able to evacuate the trees, we have put them away from the roads.
“The rainy season is accompanied by windstorm and once there is windstorm, it comes with a lot of emergencies like fallen trees and slashing of tree branches. We are on top of the situation and we are still on the road monitoring the activities of our operators. We have done it in Ogba, Victoria Island, Ikoyi and other places; by noon tomorrow (Tuesday), everything must have been evacuated from the roads.”
The state government, in a statement jointly signed by the Permanent Secretaries, Ministry of Information and Strategy, Fola Adeyemi, and Ministry of the Environment, Abiodun Bamgboye, urged Lagos residents to remain calm, adding that Monday’s experience was as a result of climate change.
The statement read in part, “Sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flash-floods on our roads as it sometimes happens in other parts of the world, but the relief here is that the flash-floods will disappear in a couple of hours.
“We want to assure Lagosians that relevant government agencies like the Drainage Services Department, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency have been put on red alert to adequately respond to any unforeseen occurrence during rain of high intensity as well as cart away fallen trees, electricity poles and confront other emergencies during the rain.
“Similarly, the Lagos State Public Works Corporation is already on the ground to clean the drainage channels, drainage setbacks and other road debris.”