Monday, July 11, 2011

The rain is a blessing but...

10th July 2011: It just kept pouring like the tears of a wailing child refusing to be comforted. Someone said on her bbm message; "Sixteen hours of uninterrupted rain", so true that's why its called; RAINY SEASON. I always say the rain is a blessing not a curse but this kind of downpour came like a warning to mankind,huh.
Yesterday's rain rendered some homeless while some like a friend of mine lost valuables in his house. Not even the big cars like the jeeps could manoeuvre the flooded roads while small cars and motorcycles were stuck. I stood at the bus stop over forty minutes waiting for a bus,as usual the rain either creates an artificial traffic or scarcity of cars. Not even a Samaritan passed by to pick ‎​​me,lol.

Pictures have been going back and forth on facebook, bbm(blackberry messenger) and I guess blogs on this sort of "Olufunsho" flood which swept across major streets in Lagos. Sad!

Btw,the drainages and other outlets in Lagos and Nigeria are a horrible sight to behold. First of all,which sane contractor builds a street without gutters?Who constructs major roads without adequately providing good drainages? Drive around Lagos and ‎​you find out that for years now drainages have been a major challenge. The gutters we have at the moment are clogged with sand, all kinds of wraps and bottles, dirts(people sweep dirts into the gutter),stagnant water and all kinds of things. This gutters breed mosquitoes and other insects which is not meant to be. Insects that cause diseases live in this gutters then fly into homes. Guess what,some people live just by some of this gutters, inhaling the pungent smell,of course mosquitoes are no longer pest but friends and the smell doesn't affect them anymore. Sad!

My brother-a civil engineer- was describing how a standard drainage system should be built which will reduce a lot of the floods in Lagos and Nigeria. He said sloppy/hilly areas require drainages that will fit that terrain and table land areas need drainage experts/engineers to study the terrain and determine a gradient that will fit a drainage unit for such an area. This gradient can be obtained from the engineers design. Now the challenge for some contractors(many of our local contractors are good at building roads but are not drainage experts) is how to apply that gradient. If the gradient is not correctly transferred from the design to the ground and the units are not constructed according to the design,the gutters won't flow.
Presently, we have built up areas that are already densely populated, and building drainages will be very tasking. Many structures may be demolished because most houses in the high brow and down town areas are sitting on the drainage channels(pipes).

So, if you're told that your house,I mean your PERSONAL home is sitting on one of this channels,what will ‎​you do? Are ‎​you ready for the consequences that will go with constructing standard drainage systems to avert floods in the future? Think about this!
For the Lagos State government to construct standard drainage pipes, many homes,shops,church buildings,offices etc will be affected(I'm not being insensitive here).
If you're moving into a newly developed area like us,this should serve as a warning sign as well to advocate for STANDARD drainages. Once our roads are properly built with standard drainages, the rains won't affect us.

What I'm I saying here? The rain is a blessing from the God who said "as long as the earth continues,planting and harvest,cold and hot,summer and winter,rain and dry seasons,day and night WILL NOT STOP". The last and only time God sent a flood was in the days of Noah,where he punished man's disobedience and He used the flood to wipe out man's wickedness from the earth. But he promised never to destroy mankind as he did with a flood. After the rains came a rainbow as a reminder of God's promises. So most of the floods we encounter in this part of the world are signs of "negligence"on the part of man. In my candid opinion,yesterday's was a man-made flood not a punishment from God as some believe. If we have basic amenities and standard drainages, the gutters won't overflow to the roads and there will be no floods.

For now,we all are victims of this mighty flood,and I sincerely empathise with all affected and hope that the government and all stakeholders will "make hay while the sun shines."