…Urges residents in coastal areas to relocate, predicts 261 days of rainfall
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government, yesterday, predicted high intensity of rainfall of 261 days this year, with attendant flooding across the state, even as it directed residents in coastal and low-lying wetland areas of the state to move upland to avert needless loss of lives and property.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, accompanied by Special Adviser to the Governor on Drainage Services, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said this at a media briefing on the 2021 Seasonal Climate Predictions, and Socio-Economic implications for Lagos State, held at Alausa, Ikeja.
Bello said: “The forecast for 2021 is based on the informed global consensus that el-Nino Southern Oscillation, ENSO, is at the cool phase, which will continue till around June and likely give to a dominant el-Nino phase till the end of 2021.
“Generally, the Seasonal Climate Prediction for Lagos State signifies that on-set dates ranged between March 17 in the earliest, and April 6, while the season-ending may range between November 20 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 indicates that year 2021 will likely experience days with extremely high rainfall amounts which may result in flooding.”
Besides, he said the state government is collaborating with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET, in downscaling the predictions to all stakeholders.
Also speaking, Mr. Igbokwe, stated that the government planned to dredge about 221 collector drains, 32 primary channels measuring about 72kilometres spread across the 20 Local Government Areas of the state to checkmate flooding.
“I, therefore, urge residents to support the government to achieve a flood-free Lagos and desist from dumping refuse in drainage channels or encroaching on Right of Ways of canals. Regrettably, several of the canals that have been recently cleaned up are again been littered by residents,” Igbokwe said.