Damage during the recent floods could have been prevented if the Lagos Government had established ocean level monitoring and disaster alert infrastructure across water bodies in the metropolis.
  This was the fresh submission by Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Lagos branch during a press conference on the recent flooding. The group argued that with the rapid urbanisation in the city, the State authorities should have balanced it with modern infrastructure.
   The State branch chairman, Mr. Olurogba Orimalade expressed concern on the absence of central sewage treatment and management systems on the peninsula given the unprecedented land reclamation, development in the axis.
 “Previous attempts by past regimes to protect the Lagos shorelines from Atlantic surges with construction of protective walls and dykes creates waves to lower level geograghies of the Island thereby making the flat peninsula susceptible to flood queues, trafficking and pooling,” he said.
   Orimalade who posited that Lekki corridor is the fastest developing area in Africa, said the government should be proactive and proffer urgent solutions to the rapid urbanization and un-monitored private developments in the city.
   He also noted that the current problem in the metropolis is not peculiar to Nigeria, especially Lagos and happens in developed climes, which are mostly attributed to climate change and urbanization.
   Estate surveyors’ recommendations on ways to avert future flooding in the city include, total assessment of drainage paths and commencement of new canals as well as channels designs; provision of central sewage systems and infrastructure to stem the tide of underground pollution on the peninsula.
  The also proposed desilting and concrete surfacing of existing canal channels; adoption of polluter pay principle across the state, especially on the Island.
    Orimalade stressed that the government should adopt new infrastructure and property insurance model that encourages risk bearing and mitigation between the government and insurance companies within the disaster zones as a tool for sustainable disaster management.
  The group also called for sustainable maintenance policy of existing canal channels as well as relocation incentives out of the disaster zones.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) expressed its sympathy for those who were victims of the floods which resulted from the rains that ravaged especially the Lekki area of Lagos State.
Expressing deep concern for those affected by the deluge of the rains, the National President of the Institute, said some of the pictures posted on social media indicate how severe the effects of the floods were, with living rooms of apartments being submerged. He noted that the rains are coming just as earlier predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.
According to him, the predictions were meant to have geared us to taking necessary precautions to avoid flooding of buildings and apartments. The NITP is of the opinion that the effect of the flooding could have been minimized if necessary steps were taken, and local campaigns undertaken to ensure that drains and canals are cleared and clog-free.

The planners are also aware that the Lekki subregion has an infrastructure master plan which made provisions to ensure a flood-free living environment. The President stated that it is time for the Lagos State Government to look into that document which it paid exorbitantly to put in place, and begin to implement all strategies proposed in the report for a flood-free subregion.

He stressed that it is also important for government to warn residents to be vigilant, to be sure that doors and other openings are closely monitored to prevent their apartments from being invaded by reptiles.
The Institute further calls for the implementation of other master plans that have been prepared. In the President’s words, “It is not sufficient to prepare master plans; it is more important to implement them.” That is the key to achieving sustainable cities.

By Marc Philips