Saturday night rain of tears, sweeps away two children, submerges buildings in Lagos

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By Robert AKPAN, Senior Investigator Reporter, Lagos/

THE torrential rain fall that occurred Saturday night in Lagos followed by tempestuous flooding has left on its trail tears and sorrow; sweeping away two children and submerging buildings.  The ugly incidents happened on Oyebanjo Solarin Street Ketu, a densely populated community in Lagos metropolis. According to the Situation Report STREP of the state’s Emergency Management Agency on the Saturday night and early Sunday morning, the two affected children whose parents’ identity was not disclosed had yet to found; adding however, that efforts were on to fishing them out. It was not however, clear whether the two children were slept away from one of the submerged buildings but the Director General/CEO of LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu who said the agency acted promptly immediately a distress to that effect was received said, “The agency received distress calls concerning the above. On arrival at the scene of incident it was discovered that, around 8pm, two (2) children had been caught up by flood water. A joint team of responders comprising Agency responders, LASG Fire Service and LASAMBUS were at the scene. The Agency’s tiger team commenced a search and rescue operation along the path of the flood water. Initial observations revealed a sloping topography with a direct channel of drain water into the canal. This has proven to be rather challenging to navigate.”

Continuing, Dr. Oke-Osanyintolu cautions, “Members of the public are urged to exercise extreme caution, particularly with young children, in flood prone and low lying areas. By Sunday morning, when the children were yet to be found, the Agency said its Response Team, led by the Director of Operations, Engr. Olatunde Akinsanya, in a more stringent search, extended the search to about 500 meters radius along the canal way, but the two children are yet to be found. However, aside the extended radius, and deep inquiries around the neighbourhood about the missing children, the Agency is conducting Public Enlightenment on Flooding and its dangerous repercussions to the residents and their properties. In addition, LASEMA also commenced sensitization in the entire area, on the need to desist from, and resist the urge to dispose their domestic and bodily wastes into the drainage systems, as it leads to blockage of the canal and water flow, which causes environmental degradation, flooding and eventually, lead to disasters, such as death or missing persons and collapsed buildings. Part of the Enlightenment campaign also advised that in case of flood or any other emergency, call the Lagos State Emergency Toll free lines on 767 or 112.”

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