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Lagos State Prepares for Above Normal Rainfall, Likely Floods In 2023

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LAGOS, NIGERIA – Lagos State residents were warned by the state government on Thursday, March 30, 2023, to brace for above normal rainfall, predicted to amount to 1936.2mm, beginning in the first week of April and ending in December.

The announcement was made by Tunji Bello, the commissioner for the environment and water resources, during the 2023 news briefing on Seasonal Climate Predictions and its Socio-Economic implications for Lagos.

Bello highlighted that the 1936.2mm of rainfall predicted for 2023 surpasses the long-term average of 1721.48mm experienced over the past ten years. “According to the prediction released by the Nigerian Metrological Services (NiMet), Lagos State is predicted to experience slightly above average rainfall amount and an elongated season length,” Bello said.

He further provided details of the expected rainfall amounts for various locations in Lagos, such as Ikeja with 1900mm, Badagry with 1978mm, and Ikorodu, Lagos Island, and Epe with 1903mm, 1936mm, and 1952mm, respectively. The onset of rainfall is slated for April 1, with cessation on December 3, 2023.

Bello also cautioned that the recent increase in extreme weather events is expected to continue in 2023, with days of heavy rainfall potentially resulting in flooding.

Contributing factors to flooding include high tidal movement causing a rise in lagoon levels, which can block drainage channels, preventing stormwater discharge and causing roads to flood.

The commissioner mentioned that the state government has increased preparedness for weather and flood-related issues by deploying a “network of weather stations and river gauge stations to monitor the weather across the state”.

In addition, they will monitor incoming rainfall storm water from neighboring states such as Ogun, Oyo, and Osun, which may result in increasing water levels.

Bello also spoke of the government’s partnership with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) to mitigate flooding and urged residents to report drainage blockages and illegal waste dumping during and after the rainy season.

Joe Igbokwe, the special adviser to the governor on drainage and water resources, emphasised the state’s commitment to environmental management.

Nurudeen Shodeinde, the permanent secretary at the Ministry Office of Drainage Services, announced plans to introduce Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) that utilise natural and man-made features such as soak-aways, ponds, and gently sloping channels (swales) to attenuate and treat urban runoff.

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