…As State holds 2022 Annual Seasonal Rainfall Pattern Prediction briefing

The Lagos State Government on Thursday stated that the State will experience about 250 to 300 days of rainfall across the 20 Local Governments in the Year 2022.

It also disclosed that the annual rainfall amount for the State will be 2700mm just as the State will experience onset, cessation, and rainfall amount similar to the prediction for 2021.

The implication is that Lagos will experience a rain pattern of high intensity and frequency similar to what was experienced in 2021.

Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tunji Bello made these known while addressing the media at a press briefing for 2022 Seasonal Climate Predictions (SCP) and Social Implications for Lagos State held at Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources Conference Room, Alausa.

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).

He explained that the Ministry is consolidating on 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, planners, decision-makers, operators of various sectors, and businesses that are likely to be affected by the annual rainfall patterns as demonstrated by this media briefing.

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

He revealed 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 as 6th April, cessation date as 30th November and a total rainfall amount of 1627mm as specifically highlighted by NiMet.

According to him, the peculiarity of Lagos State, as a coastal state and its strategic position as the economic hub of the nation, has necessitated the need to disseminate crucial information on the 2022 Climate Prediction in order to prepare our people ahead of the likely consequences of the rains and other relevant weather parameters.

He said it is also expected that the recent increased frequency of extreme weather events will continue in 2022 with days of extremely high rainfall amounts 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.

Bello emphasized that the construction of Lagos State network of weather stations has commenced and will soon reach the completion stage saying these 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 rainfall from neighboring Ogun and Osun States, dams release,d and rivers flowing into the State would also be monitored.

He stressed that towards ensuring 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.

Bello emphasized 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 Ogun River.

He stated 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 afore mentioned areas may be highly vulnerable to heavy flooding this year.

He reiterated that the Government would not relent in it efforts to continually sensitize communities in coastal and low-lying areas of the State, to relocate upland to avert needless loss of lives and property, when the need arises.

He appealed to the media to be cautious in the manner they report issues of flooding and to help educate the public that when it rains heavily, it is natural to have flash floods which would drain off quickly, as the case in different parts of the world.

He said the present administration recently approved a plastic waste policy which is one of the pro-active measures to reduce the prevalence of plastic waste and also create a circular economy for plastic waste adding that indiscriminate dumping of plastic wastes into the drains lead to flooding.

The Commissioner said the State resident Drainage Engineers were available in all the 57 Local Governments Areas 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 Government and Local Council Development Areas for monitoring of tertiary drains to ensure free-flowing drains into the secondary and primary collectors.

“Finally, I wish to appeal once again to our people to support our efforts by complementing the State Government through the regular clearing of drains in their frontages and residences to ensure free-flow of stormwater as well as to desist from dumping of refuse into drainage channels,” he said.

In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe emphasized that owing to the pressure of insecurity in some other states, Lagos has become the most secured state in the country and this has increased the influx of people into the state saying this has put a lot of pressure of infrastructure in the state.

He said the government is determined to rid the state of all forms of environmental infractions across the State, adding that homeowners in low lying areas like Iwaya, Makoko, Ijora Badiya, Agboyi Ketu, Itowolo, Isheri amongst others should be mindful as their homes are located along natural water path.

He said the proper care for Environment can be achieved through sensitization, attitudinal change and development of individuals capable of taking action on environmental issues towards achieving a sustainable environment.

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services and Water Resources, Engr. Lekan Shodeinde said it has been scientifically predicted that there will be a rise in ocean level which will further lead to a rise in Lagoon level bringing a back-flow to the low-lying areas in the Lagos state.

He urged the media to assist the government in the advocacy against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state saying that achieving this feat could on be through an attitudinal change of the people and not only enforcement.

Also in his remarks, the Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni stated that the implementation of the Plastic Waste policy has gotten to the stage where it involves the manufacturers and consumers’ adding that massive advocacy was ongoing in the markets on waste sorting.

He explained that the pilot scheme of waste sorting from the source begins on the 1st of April in Magodo Phase 1 being an organized setting adding that when success is recorded, it will be extended to other organized Estates and Markets in the State.

He urged everyone to continue to do their bit in maintaining the environment, stressing that government will not relent in performing its responsibilities of maintaining flood free and clean environment.

Kunle Adeshina
Director (Public Affairs)
March 31st, 2022