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… As Government Prepares Residents For Task Ahead

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday alerted residents that near-normal rainfall will be witnessed across the State between 240 and 270 days this year.

The State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello who stated this during a press briefing on the Year 2020 Seasonal Rainfall predictions and prevention of flooding in Alausa, added that the maximum annual rainfall is predicted to be 1,750mm.

Bello noted that Ikeja was expected to have about 1526mm, while that of Badagry is 1750mm, Lagos Island with 1714mm, Ikorodu with 1690mm and Epe with 1730mm of rainfall.

He disclosed that the report which was obtained from the Nigerian Meteorological services (NIMET) indicated further that Lagos Island was expected to have a rainfall onset date of 19th March 2020 with an error margin of three days, while its cessation date is expected to be 26th of November, 2020.

According to the Commissioner, “This year’s prediction by NiMeT is based on the global consensus that El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is at the neutral phase which will continue till around August or September”.

The Commissioner 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.

Reassuring 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 flash-floods 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”.

He disclosed that the Lagos State Government has established synergy and partnership with Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority thus ensuring control and monitoring of the steady and systematic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream communities.

“Since last year, the Emergency Flood Abatement Gang under Drainage Maintenance Department of the Ministry has been consistently desilting and working on secondary collectors and conduits to enable them discharge efficiently”, he stated.

The Commissioner urged Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) and Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) to ensure advertising and communication agencies comply with regulations on safety and stability of billboards as well as telecommunication masts in readiness for the strong winds expected during the onset and cessation of every rainfall.

While maintaining that all relevant security and emergency agencies would be adequately informed to be ready for any negative effects of flooding, Bello advised Lagosians who reside along flood plains, coastal and low-lying wetland areas near major rivers to remain alert and ready to relocate when the need arises.

The Environment Commissioner, therefore, appealed to Lagosians to desist from acts that can lead to flooding and indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, stressing that the contact details of Drainage Resident Engineers will be made available in all 57 Local Governments 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 is working with all the Local Governments to sensitise market men and women on proper waste disposal, saying that the government will not hesitate to shut down any erring market.

Igbokwe also averred that there has been a rise in population and government will not relent in performing its responsibilities of maintaining cleanliness in the environment, noting that work is ongoing towards clearing canals and drains in Oshodi, Isolo, Mushin and Ladipo amongst others.

He enjoined residents to support government efforts by complementing its efforts through the regular clearing of drains in their frontages, desisting from dumping of refuse in drainage channels and on roads to ensure free-flow of stormwater.

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