By Daud Olatunji
OGUN State government has cautioned residents of the state on the possible flooding and outbreak of diseases as a result of above normal rainfall in the state and others. This, according to the government, follows the prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. Both Commissioners for Environment and Agriculture in the state, Bolaji Adeleye and Adepeju Adebajo, led the campaign over the impending disaster in the state.
Oyeleye warned residents, especially those at the riverine areas against the looming disaster, saying the State will experience an above normal amount of rainfall that could lead to flooding in some parts of the State.
Oyeleye stated that Ogun alongside Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Oyo and Adamawa would experience above normal rainfall in the year. He noted that the flood could be aggravated by the release of water from the Oyan and Ikere Gorge dams in the state. The commissioner said that the predicted length of growing season for the state falls within 250-287 days.
Oyeleye also further said that NiMet predicted that many Nigerians would experience “above danger heat stress” due to the combination of heat and humidity. As a government, we thought it is wise to sensitise our people of what is expected in this rainy season. We are expected to experience flooding because rainfall will be above normal as predicted by NiMet.
“We expected our people to keep a clean and safe environment. The rain has started. It started late March and it is expected to subside by November. Our people should cultivate the habit of not dumping refuse into the water ways.
Combination of heat and humidity
“The Nigerian Meteorological Agency predicted that many Nigerians would likely experience “above danger heat stress” this year due to combination of heat and humidity.
The impact is that exposure to excessive heat for too long could cause heat stress”,which may in turn lead to several illness collectively called “hyperthermia.” He urged residents of the state to take large quantities of water at regular intervals to guide against heat exhaustion.
The commissioner further disclosed that NIMET prediction of above normal heat was conducive for heat-loving rectors such as mosquitoes, advising residents to keep their environment free of bushes and water logging potholes and take a lot of water during this heat period to avoid hyperthermia and other related diseases.
The state commissioner advised the residents of the state to shun blocking of either natural or constructed drainage channels as well as refrain from dumping waste into drainage channels and river or stream flow courses. Oyeleye who said that the 2017 seasonal prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has shown that floods may occur in Ogun and some other states in the country.
He, however, said as part of the states expecting above normal rainfall, Ogun State is expected to experience flooding which could be aggravated by the release of water from two major dams up north of the state.
“The prediction of above normal heat is expected to cause the emergence of communicable diseases, particularly those aided by heat loving vectors such as mosquitoes, our people should keep their environment free of bushes and water logging potholes or puddles.”
In her remarks, the commissioner for agriculture raised alarm that there may be general socio-economic implications, adding that food production is expected to be less than normal due to shorter growing season over large parts of the country.
Adebajo said, many sectors in the agriculture may be affected such as fish, livestock, arable, tree crops and mechanisation.
According to her, poultry sector will witness less water stress and outbreak of heat related diseases. However, because of the high humidity due to abnormal high rainfall the length of time required for heating will increase which will increase the cost of production. On arable sector, Adebajo said the situation may boost the sector, but, high diseases might be witnessed.
She said farms might be water logged or flooded and eroded which she said might make land preparation difficult. She added that tree crops might be boosted because it needs more rain to establish, saying early planting should be encouraged.
On fish farming, the commissioner warned that earth pond in the area known for high run-off may be vulnerable, especially during the peak of raining season. She said that those that use concrete pond may have the advantage this year. Adebajo, however, urged farmers to ensure they insure their farmlands Inn case of eventuality.