The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources in Lagos State, Tunji Bello, has urged residents of Nigeria’s commercial capital to prepare for the consequences of 240-270 days of rainfall.
Bello predicts that the 2020 rainy season will commence with a deluge on March 19 and end with a thud on November 22, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
Speaking during a news conference held at the Ministry’s Conference room on Tuesday, March 10, Bello said it has become imperative to inform Lagos residents about the 2020 rainfall prediction as issued by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET).
Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), he said, is aimed at allaying fears of residents and preparing them for the likely consequences of the downpour.
Bello said that rainfall prediction for Lagos in 2020 was a near-normal one, adding that Ikeja was expected to have about 1,526 millimeters, while Badagry would get 1,759 millimeters.
According to him, Lagos Island will receive 1,714 millimeters of rainfall, Ikorodu will get 1,690 millimeters and Epe/Lekki area will be covered with 1,730 millimeters.
Before the rainy season fully commences, there will be occasional rainfall which the commissioner refers to as “false start.”
Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of March 19, with an error margin of three days, while its cessation date is expected to be November 26.
It is also expected that Lagos Island will have about 252 days of rainfall.
Speaking in general terms, the commissioner said Lagos will experience a rainy season that will last 240-270 days, while the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750 millimeters.
“The year 2020 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amount which may result in flooding. Another contributory factor to possible flooding in the state is sea level rise.
“This poses the biggest risk to coastal areas and the state’s drainage infrastructure, as any time there is high tidal movement, it may lock up the discharged points of drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge.
“Such occurrences also cause back flows, resulting in flooding, but as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all generated storm water run-off will immediately discharge and our roads will be free,” Bello assured.
Lagos government says it’s prepared
Bello assured Lagosians that the state will continue to reap the gains of planning, as the flood control measures in the state had been stepped up to contain any unforeseen weather conditions.
The commissioner added that relevant measures had been put in place in preparation for the 2020 rainy season.
Bello said the state is determined to maintain and sustain the long-established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority.
He said the partnership had ensured control and monitoring of steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the release of the downstream communities.
He said the emergency Flood Abatement Gang under Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry, had been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits, to enable them discharge efficiently and act as retention basins.
Bello promised to beef up the ministry’s enlightenment efforts to sensitize and advise communities in coastal and low-lying wetland areas of the state, to move upward to avert needless loss of lives and property.
He said the ministry will also serve abatement notice to owners of illegal structures, violators of buildings, regulations on drainage alignments tenements and institutions discharging solid waste in water bodies.
He also advised residents to report cases of drainage blockages, dumping of waste into other unauthorized places, to the state government.
Bello said that telephone numbers of all the state drainage engineers will be available in the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the state to address all needs before, during and after the rainy season.
He however appealed to the people to support government efforts by complementing the state government through regular clearing of drains to ensure free-flow of storm water.