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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Expect above-normal rainfall this year, Lagos warns residents

The Lagos State Government has alerted residents that the state will experience above-normal rainfall this year, with about 1,936.2mm volume of water expected, according to the Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP).

Residents are encouraged to adopt environmentally-friendly lifestyles and do more to safeguard the environment.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Environment, Tokunbo Wahab, spoke at a news conference to announce the Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP) and its socio-economic implications for the state. He said the annual briefing is to alert Lagosians on the need to prepare.

According to Wahab, the average annual rainfall amount predicted for 2024 is 1936.2mm, which is greater than the long-term average of 1721.48mm. The rain is expected to start first week of April and cease first week of December.

Ikeja is expected to have an onset date of April 4 and cessation date of December 4, with about 1,900mm volume of rain expected. Badagry is expected to have an onset date of April 1 and cessation date of December 5, with 1,978mm volume expected, while Ikorodu’s onset date is April 4 and cessation date is December 4. The volume expected is 1,903mm. Lagos Island stands at 1,936mm volume expected, with a start and end dates of April 3 and December 4.

The commissioner also noted that below normal rainfall is anticipated in the first half of the rainy season, while normal to above normal is expected in the second half.

Wahab reiterated government’s plan to downscale the SCP to stakeholders and emergency workers, and upscale its readiness to combat emergencies that might arise, especially as Lagos lies below the sea level.

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He added: “Our state will continue to reap the benefits of a careful and rigorous execution of plans as our flood control measures are stepped up to contain any imminent rainfall. The ministry has embarked on an all-year-round drainage maintenance programme for effective and efficient flood control, in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system.”

The commissioner noted that the government will also maintain the synergy with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA) while monitoring the rainfall from neighbouring Ogun, Oyo and Osun states, dams release and river water levels into the state.

He noted that the Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) has been strengthened to deliver reliable, timely and effective flood information, adding that the low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities will be closely monitored with respect to a likelihood of the Ogun River flooding, as well as other river basins in the state.

The commissioner also urged residents to expect flashfloods due to the high amount of rainfall, as well as a rise in the Lagoon level. This, he said, was because high tidal movements may ‘lock up’ discharge points of drainage channels ‘and until it recedes, there will be no discharge’.

“Such occurrences can cause backflow resulting to flooding, but as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately be discharged and the roads will be free,” he added.

Special Adviser to the governor on Environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, appealed to residents to support government’s effort by regularly cleaning drains in their frontages to ensure free flow of storm water. He also reiterated that people must desist from dumping refuse into drainage channels.

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He added: “People should respect nature by giving it its space so our space is not violated. We should prepare to do more to safeguard our environment, especially in preparation for the rainy season. We must refrain from acts, such as indiscriminate dumping of construction materials, erecting building within and around drainage Right of Ways and setbacks, that can cause flooding.

“Environment maintenance is not rocket science, when we shoot the equilibrium, it will shoot back to us. So it is to our detriment when we maltreat nature. Residents should always do more in environmental maintenance and support.”

Theresa Arike
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