2024 Seasonal Climate Predictions: Lagos to experience more than normal rainfall

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The Lagos State Government announced on Tuesday 26 March 2024  that the State is expected to experience more than normal amount of rainfall during the year 2024 rainy season with a total of 1936.2mm predicted rainfall.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Environment, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab made this pronouncement at a media briefing of the Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP) and the Socio- Economic  Implications for Lagos State held at the Ministry’s Conference Room adding that the annual briefing  is to alert Lagosians of the climate patterns and its socio-economic implications for residents.

He stressed that the average annual rainfall amount predicted for 2024 is 1936.2mm which is greater than the long-term average of 1721.48mm with the onset date expected to be the first week of April and ceasing in the first week of December.

Ileja  is expected to have an onset date of 4th April and cessation date of 4th December with a  high annual amount of 1900mm rainfall.

He added that Badagry is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 1st April and cessation date of 5th December resulting in an annual amount of 1978mm while Ikorodu is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 4th April and cessation date of 4th December totaling  an annual amount of 1903mm.

He mentioned that Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 3rd April, cessation date of 4th December and an annual amount of 1936mm while Epe is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 2nd April, cessation date of 5th December and an annual amount of 1952mm.

According to him, below normal rainfall amounts are anticipated in the first half of the rainy season while normal to above normal rainfall amounts are expected in the second half of the rainy season.

He reiterated that the Ministry’s collaboration with NiMet annually on the Seasonal Climate Prediction has been valuable as a vital weather and early warning tool for farmers, decision makers, operators of the various sectors and businesses that are likely to be impacted by the annual rainfall.

He said government had plans to downscale the Seasonal Climate Prediction to stakeholders and emergency workers in the State adding that the State had deployed and maintained its network of weather stations and river gauge stations to monitor the weather and river levels in the state and increase the preparedness for weather and flood related issues.

“We want to assure you that our state will continue to reap the benefits of a careful and rigorous execution planning, as our flood control measures are stepped up to contain any imminent rainfall; the Ministry has embarked on an all-year-round drainage maintenance program for effective and efficient flood control, in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system” he said.

He added that to effectively contain flooding in the state government is determined to maintain the synergy and partnership with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA) adding that the rainfall from neighbouring Ogun, Oyo and Osun States, dams release and rivers water levels into the State will also be monitored.

He said the partnership has in years past ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systemic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches of the Ogun River saying the mutual relationship has been highly beneficial and will be sustain.

He stated that proactively, the State has strengthened the Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) to deliver reliable, timely and effective flood information at an appropriate response time adding that the low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities  will be  closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding as well as all other river basins in the State.

The Commissioner explained that it is expected that the high amounts of rainfall and other contributory factors may lead to flooding events in some parts of the State while leading to a  rise in Lagoon level saying that anytime there is high tidal movement, it may “lock up” the discharge points of drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge.

He said such occurrences can cause backflow resulting to flooding and as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately be discharged and the roads will be free stressing that it  is only when storm water remains on the roads for hours that there should be reports of fooding.

He stressed that the government had put all emergency response organizations, traffic management organizations, and other emergency-related organizations on high alert to help lessen the detrimental effects of thunderstorms and associated rains in the State.

He maintained that  government will ramp up  sensitization for residents along flood plains of major rivers  such as Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota, Shibiri  to  be alert and ready to relocate to higher grounds when the need arises adding that  Drainage Engineers are available in all  57 LGA and LCDA to attend to  drainage related matters during and after the rainy season.

The Special Adviser on Environment Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu appealed to residents to support the efforts of the government by regularly cleaning of drains in their frontages to ensure free flow of storm water as well as desist from dumping of refuse into drainage channels.

He added that residents should refrain from the acts that could lead to flooding such as indiscriminate dumping of construction materials, erecting building structures within and around drainage Right of Ways and setbacks.

He also advised residents to report cases of drainage blockages, dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorized places to the Residents Engineers and zero tolerance offices statewide and motorists to  observe prescribed speed limits on the roads to avoid loss of lives and property during rainy season.

“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 environment maintenance and support.

The briefing was attended by the Permanent Secretary Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engineer Olakunle Adegbite and his counterpart in the Office of Environmental Services, GAJI Omobolaji TAJUDEEN and other directors.

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