LAGOS: Heavy Rains Cause Traffic Chaos As Residents Renew Calls For Improved Drainage

Every year, Lagosians brace themselves for floods and 2024 is no exception. On Wednesday, a downpour transformed communities into rivers, stranding commuters and submerging major roads, including those leading to the Third Mainland Bridge.

Eredo, Bojije, Epe, Sangotedo, Ibeju-Lekki, Awoyaya, Labora, and Abijon were reportedly among the hardest-hit areas. Major roads like Majek, Abraham Adesanya, and Awoyaya-Sangotedo were also impacted, with ongoing road construction further exacerbating the situation.

The situation is attributed to poor drainage system in Lagos, worsened by years of indiscriminate waste disposal by residents.

Barely six days ago, the Lagos State Government pledged to address the issue by constructing larger drainage channels across flood-prone areas, including the Lekki-Epe Expressway and Eti Osa Local Government Area.

Lagos residents, many of whom have become accustomed to yearly flood events, took to social media to express their frustration at the recurring destruction of property.

Users like @musbauceo on X noted the plight of those in flood-prone areas who grapple with both flooding and heavy traffic congestion.

“The rain has not smiling since yesterday. I feel for those in flood-prone areas. They are battling with flood and traffic Lekki extension- Osapa – Agungi – Ajah etc,” said the resident.

Another user, @yeankhar, pointed to the hypocrisy of government officials who dismiss concerns about road conditions as “coordinated attacks”.

Seunalaran, another X user, raised concerns about the newly renovated Third Mainland Bridge, noting the buildup of water due to a malfunctioning drainage system.

“The highway drainage is blocked it didn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual process that reeks of next to zero maintenance ironically, the same is starting to happen on the newly renovated third mainland bridge.

“We’re starting to see little pools of water gather on the two outer lanes of the road due to the ineffective drainage system. Particularly between the Yaba exit inward Lagos Island. If the drainage outlets aren’t cleared, the bridge would start to experience flooding,” the user wrote.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has reassured residents that efforts are underway to remove obstructions hindering rainwater flow.

He attributed the flooding near the Third Mainland Bridge to a combination of heavy rain, long downpour duration, and high lagoon water levels.

“The Olopo Meji inward 3rd Mainland situation is a flash flood that is due to the high intensity of the rain, long duration rain coupled with high tidal lagoon level at the moment. Be rest assured it will go away in about 1-2 hours. As the high tidal level of the Lagoon goes down, the rain/stormwater will be able to discharge into the lagoon.

“So many areas in the metropolis are also affected by flooding. The government should find a lasting solution to this perennial flooding challenge,” said Wahab.

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