Following the recent unprecedented floods in the Lekki and Ajah axis of Lagos state which exposed the drainage and infrastructure failures of the area, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Director General Prof. Sani A. Mashi has said the entire structures in the Lekki peninsula needs to demolished and the entire area re-planned.
He said it was an anomaly in the first place to build indiscriminately in a Peninsula which was prone to flooding without proper planning and drainage facilities.
To him, the failure of Lekki speaks directly to the point that most floods are caused by human failures and errors.
The NiMet DG took this position while delivering a paper titled “Meteorology, Flooding and the Challenges Before the Nigerian Engineer” at the 2nd Annual General Meeting/Lecture of the Nigerian Society Of Engineers (NSE), Giri Branch Abuja yesterday.
He noted that flooding in Nigeria is worsened by human activities through, rapid industrialization, uncontrolled urbanization, population growth, unregulated exploitation of natural, resources and improper location of infrastructures.
He said the above is further exacerbated by the challenges of design and construction of adequate drainage systems in our urban and rural settlements to accommodate the volume of water being generated during flooding.
He further raised concerns around the improper maintenance of the existing drainage systems for sustainable flood control, timely repair/rehabilitation and reconstruction of flood damaged public infrastructures and design and construction of efficient and low-cost-cost IDP camps.
The NiMet Dg also called for more government and the general public’s interest in NiMet weather forecasts as this could mitigate disasters.
During the annual Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) presentation in March 2012, NiMet had predicted that rainfall in most parts of the country will be above normal and this may result in flooding incidents in at least twelve (12) states of the federation. Unfortunately, nobody heeded the warning and the consequences were indeed very serious” he said adding that the flood that followed in that year saw cost the country over N2.6 trillion in damages besides the lives that were lost.
“Meteorological data (Wind speed and direction, precipitation, solar radiation, temperature, etc.) are available for the use of Nigerian engineers in their designs and other desirable uses. NiMet has a repository of relevant weather data of about one hundred (100) years in her archive. Nigerian engineers can do so much to assist the practice of meteorology to be more efficient and to continue to meet the required global standards” he said.