…Warns people living in flood-prone areas to vacate
The Lagos State government warned residents of flood-prone areas to vacate their premises to avert flood related disasters, saying that the state might experience intense rainfall for between 238 and 261 days this year.
The government said that the announcement was necessary in order to avert disaster and minimise the adverse effect of heavy downpour on lives and properties of Lagos residents even as efforts are being made to ensure safety of lives and property during the rainy season.
Consequently, Lagosians, who reside along flood plains of major rivers and drainage channels such as Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota, Shibiri etc, have been urged to always be on the alert and be ready to move to higher ground when the need arises.
It also said the low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities in the state are being closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding and all other river basins in the state.
Briefing journalists on the Seasonal Climate Predictions and Socio-Economic Implications for the state, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, who raised the alarm, also hinted that the Emergency Flood Abatement Gangs had since January been consistently de-silting and working on various linkages to primary and secondary water channels to enable them discharge efficiently and act as retention basins.
Bello said that the rainfall pattern forecast was based on findings from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), which, according to him, usually forecasts at the beginning of every year the expected rainfall and temperature patterns spanning the entire country.
The commissioner added the Seasonal Climate Prediction for Lagos State signifies that onset dates ranged between March 17 in earliest and April 6, while the season ending is predicted to range between 30th November 30 and December 5, 2021.
“The connotation is that Lagos State shall experience a rainy season of 238-261 days while the Maximum Annual Rainfall amount is predicted to be 1,747mm. It is also expected that the increasing frequency of extreme weather events indicate that year 2021 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding,” he said.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe hinted that last year drainage alignments were carried out on 52 concrete channels amounting to 30 kilometres, with plans to work on 56 of 45 kilometres this year to check flooding.