The Lagos State Government on Tuesday alerted residents that the state will witness a near normal rainfall of between 240 to 270 days this year.
The State Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, stated this during a press briefing in his office in Alausa on: “Year 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions and Prevention of Flooding in the State.”
Bello said the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750mm.
He said the earliest predicted onset of the rainy season is March 17, with other areas following, adding that it is expected to cease earliest by November 22 in Surulere, with other areas following.
He stated that Ikeja was expected to have about 1526mm; while that of Badagry is 1750mm; Lagos Island 1714mm; Ikorodu, 1690mm, and Epe with 1730mm of rainfall.
He disclosed that the report, which was obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency indicated further that Lagos Island was 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.
He said this year’s prediction by NiMeT is based on the global consensus that El-Nino Southern Oscillation is at the neutral phase, which will continue till around August or September.
It is also expected that Lagos Island will have about 252 days of rainfall with about 1714mm of rainfall through the year.
Bello disclosed that the predictions of the Agency were valuable as vital weather and early warning tools for planners, decision makers and operators of the various sectors and businesses that might be impacted by the annual rainfall, if not well managed.
Re-assuring Lagosians on the issue of floods, Bello said in a coastal area like Lagos, it is natural that “sometimes when it rains, we are likely to have flashfloods on our roads as normal occurrences all over the world.
“As long as the drains are clean, we should be assured that, in a matter of time, the flash flood will disappear.
“It is only when flood remains on the roads for days that we can report that the place is flooded.
“It must be noted that anytime the Lagoon level rises, it may ‘lock up’ the discharge points drainage channels and until it recedes, there will be no discharge.
“Occurrences like these also cause back flows, resulting to flooding.
“But as soon as the Lagoon recedes, all the generated storm water will immediately discharge and our roads will be free.
“The Lagos State Government has established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority and this has ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream communities.”
According to Bello, since last year the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang under Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry have been consistently de-silting and working on secondary collectors and conduits to enable them discharge efficiently.
The Commissioner urged the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency and Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency to ensure advertising and communication agencies comply with regulations on safety and stability of billboards and telecommunication masts in readiness for the strong winds expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall.
He remarked that all relevant security and emergency agencies would be adequately informed to be ever ready for any negative effects of flooding.
He said: “All emergency agencies, traffic management agencies and other emergency related outfits will be put on the alert to assist in reducing the havoc that may arise from the incidents of flooding in the State.”
Bello advised Lagosians who reside along flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers to always be on the alert and ready to relocate, when the need arises.
He maintained that government shall, as usual, notify such residents at the appropriate time.
He also urged motorists to observe prescribed speed limits during the rainy reason to avoid loss of lives and property.
The Environment Commissioner appealed to Lagosians to desist from acts that can lead to flooding such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places.
Bello assured that the contact of Drainage Resident Engineers will be made available in all 57 Local Governments Areas and Local Council Development Areas to attend to the needs of residents before, during and after the rainy season.
Also speaking at the briefing, the Special adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engr. Joe Igbokwe, said the Government was working seriously with the all the Local Governments to sensitise market men and women, adding that the government will not hesitate to shut down any erring market.
Igbokwe also noted that there has been a rise in population and government will not relent in performing its responsibilities of maintaining cleanliness in the environment, stressing that work is seriously going on to clear canals and drains in Oshodi, Isolo, Mushin and Ladipo amongst others.
He enjoined the people of Lagos to support government’s efforts by complementing through regular clearing of drains in their frontages to ensure free-flow of storm water as well as to desist from dumping of refuse into drainage channels and roads.