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2022 : Lagos to experience 250 to 300 days of rainfall – Commissioner

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By Winifred Bosa

LAGOS State Government has said the state would experience about 250 to 300 days of rainfall across the 20 local governments in 2022, adding that this will amount to a 2700mm rain pattern of high intensity and frequency similar to what was experienced in 2021.

  Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, made this known while addressing the media recently at a press briefing for the Y2022 Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP) and Social Implications for Lagos State, held at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Conference Room, Alausa, Ikeja.

He added that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), at the beginning of every year, usually forecasts the expected rainfall and temperature patterns spanning the entire country while the results were published as the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP).

Explaining that the ministry is consolidating its collaboration with NiMet in the area of annual SCP, which has been very valuable as a vital weather and early warning tool for farmers, the commissioner noted that planners, decision-makers, operators of various sectors and businesses are also likely to be affected by the annual rainfall patterns outlined in the media briefing.

Mr. Bello said the SCP for Lagos State generally signified that the onset dates range between 17th March at the earliest and 6th April, 2022 at the latest, while the cessation dates range between 30th November and 5th December 2022.

He revealed that Ikeja is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 17th March, while cessation date is 3rd December, with a total amount of 1392mm, adding that Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 6th April, cessation date as 30th November and a total rainfall amount of 1627mm as specifically highlighted by NiMet.

According to him, the coastal status of Lagos State and its strategic position as the economic hub of the nation has necessitated the need to disseminate crucial information on the Y2022 Climate Prediction in order to prepare residents ahead of the likely consequences of the rains and other relevant weather parameters.

He said it was also expected that the recent increased frequency of extreme weather events will continue in Y2022 with days of extremely high rainfall which may result in flooding.

“Our pro-active administration in the state, in response to the above phenomena, has strengthened the Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) to deliver reliable, timely and effective flood information at an appropriate response time”, he said.

The commissioner emphasised that the construction of the Lagos State network of weather stations has commenced and will soon reach the completion stage, noting that the stations would assist in monitoring the weather in the State as well as increase the preparedness for weather-related issues

He assured the people that the government would continue to reap the gains of rigorous planning as the flood control measures are being stepped up to contain any imminent heavy rainfalls, adding that the rain flow from neighbouring Ogun and Osun State dams and rivers flowing into the state would also be monitored.

“In a bid to ensure a flood-free and hygienic environment in the state, the ministry always embarks on all-year-round drainage maintenance for effective flood control as well as a sustainable solid waste management system”, he noted.

  Bello emphasised that the government is determined to maintain the long-established synergy with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA), which has ensured control and monitoring of the systemic release of water from Oyan Dam, to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches of the Ogun River.

He averred that the low-lying areas such as Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities in Lagos State will be closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding, adding that the aforementioned areas may be highly vulnerable to heavy flooding this year.

Reiterating that the government would not relent in its efforts to continually sensitise communities in coastal and low-lying areas of the state to relocate upland to avert needless loss of lives and property, Bello appealed to the media to be cautious in the manner they report issues of flooding and sought their support in educating educate the public on heavy rainfall.

“It is natural to have flash floods which would drain off quickly, as is the case in different parts of the world”, Bello asserted.

He said the present administration recently approved a plastic waste policy which is one of the proactive measures to reduce the prevalence of plastic material and also create a circular economy for plastic waste, adding that indiscriminate dumping of plastics into the drains leads to flooding.

The commissioner said the state’s Resident Drainage Engineers were available in all the 57 local governments and local council development areas to attend to all drainage related matters during and after the rainy season, stressing that the state had also strengthened the synergy with authorities at the local governments and local council development areas for monitoring of tertiary drains to ensure free-flowing drains into the secondary and primary collectors.

Dignitaries in attendance at the press briefing include the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe; Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Lekan Shodeinde and Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, among others.

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