… Urges Residents to Remain Calm, Support Government’s Efforts

The Lagos State Government announced on Tuesday 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

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab made this pronouncement at a media briefing on the Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP) and the Socio-Economic Implications for Lagos State held at the Ministry’s Conference Room, Alausa, 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.

He said Ikeja is expected to have an onset date of 4th April and a 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. 

Speaking further, he mentioned that Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 3rd April with 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.

Wahab noted that 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 the 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.

He noted that to effectively contain flooding in the state, the government is determined to maintain the synergy and partnership with the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority (OORBDA), stressing that the rainfall from neighbouring Ogun, Oyo and Osun States, dams release and river 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 sustained.

Wahab further 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.

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

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

Therefore, according to him, the government will ramp up sensitisation for residents along flood plains of major rivers such as Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota, and 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 LCDAs 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 drains in their frontages to ensure the free flow of stormwater as well as desist from dumping of refuse into drainage channels.

He added that residents should refrain from 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, and dumping of waste into canals and other unauthorized places to the Residents’ Engineers and zero tolerance offices statewide, imploring motorists to observe prescribed speed limits on the roads to avoid loss of lives and property during the rainy season.

The briefing was also 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 as well as other Directors.

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