Following NIMET’s release of 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction(SRP) which predicted heavy rainfall of high intensity for Lagos, the Lagos State Government has reassured Lagosians,asking them not to panic. The Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello stated at a press conference to sensitize the media on the implications of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction for Lagos State that Lagosians should set their minds at rest in spite of the forecast of heavy rains.
He noted that Lagos State Government in its characteristic manners had taken adequate measures, such as the continuous dredging, construction and lining of drainage channels, to ensure that the state was able to cope with this year’s rains as it did in 2012. Bello noted that Seasonal Rainfall Prediction showed that the rainfall pattern for Lagos State and South West would not be different from the 2012 predictions. According to him “it has been predicted that rainfall will commence in Lagos between the first and second week in March, with a margin of error of 3days,as probable onset dates for year 2013 rainy season”.
He added that the prediction is further confirmed with the torrential rainfall experienced on Saturday/Sunday March 1st – 2nd 2013,as well as Monday,4th 2013 respectively. Furthermore, Bello pointed out that Lagos State would experience a rainy season of about 249 – 275 days with intermittent stoppage in February and August, stressing that the magnitude of rainfall prediction for Y2013 would be heavy with high intensity and thunderstorm as experienced last year. “Lagos is expected to record 1722mm with marginal error of between 21 and 179mm, while heavy thunderstorm would occur during the raining period of June, July, August” he added. He urged the media to always send the right signal to the people, stating that flash flood, which is usually for a short period of time, was a natural phenomenon in coastal state like Lagos.
His words, “ it is only when flood remains on the road for days that we can report that the state is flooded. I wish to appeal to my colleagues in the media to avoid scaring the public through sensational headlines like ‘Lagos submerged’ “flood overruns Lagos”. He noted that whenever the Lagoon, which is the final receptacle for the Lagos drainage network, rose it would automatically lock up discharges from drainage channels until the Lagoon recedes. He stressed that no nation could promise a “flood free” environment any longer, stressing that even the most industrialized countries in the world could no longer promise a flood free society but what could be promised was reduction of floods to the barest minimum in the state. Bello explained that in order to reduce the incidence of flooding to the barest minimum, the State Government had continued to embarked on massive clearing/dredging of primary and secondary channels/collectors in the state, expansion of existing drainage channels so as to contain more storm water, lining of many earth channels, strengthening of Resident Engineers/Drainage Maintenance Officers to oversee drainage matters in all the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas across the state.