The Lagos State Government yesterday unveiled the 2014 seasonal rainfall prediction, which it said, revealed that the state would experience 263 days of rainfall with severe thunderstorms in the year.The state government, therefore, specifically urged all residents living on flood plains and wetlands to relocate to the upland area pending the when the rainfall prediction would last in December.
The stateâ€™s Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, presented the seasonal rainfall at a news conference in Alausa, noting that the 2014 rainfall pattern would have grave socio-economic implications on the state.
At the conference, the commissioner explained that the total length of rainy season for 2014 in Lagos â€œhas been predicted to be 263 days with a marginal error of nine days. The prediction began in the first week of March in the southernmost part of the country and late June in the far northern parts.â€
He said the season had been predicted â€œto end between the first week of October and fourth week of December in most part of the country. The rainfall cessation was predicted to be earlier than normal in most part of the country.â€
In Lagos, the commissioner said, the cessation date was predicted to be December 21, with a marginal error of three days. Using the 2014 SRP, the rainfall pattern would be similar to that of last year but this year, the month of August was expected to be drier than August 2013.
He said the rainfall pattern showed that rain would commence in earnest and increased gradually till mid-July and recess before starting again in early September while the season would finally end in December, 2014.
â€œIn addition, from the magnitude of the seasonal prediction for this year 2014, Lagos State will experience normal rainfall, with minimal intensity compared to the recorded event of last year. Lagos is expected to record 1,960mm as total annual amount of rainfall.
â€œThe strong winds, lighting and thunderstorms, which are regular phenomena during the onset and cessation of rainfall was also predicted to occur in stronger magnitude during this yearâ€™s raining period.
â€œWhile Lagos would have normal rainfall this year, surrounding states like Ogun and Oyo will have above normal rainfall. Thus, excess flow from dams in those states may cause flooding downstream realistically in Lagos State, if the water is not properly managed.
â€œThe length of rainy seasons is predicted to vary between 100 days over the extreme north and 300 days over the coastal areas. The predicted rainfall over the central and southern parts of the country would support good yield of both cereals and tuber crops.
â€œThe predicted less rainfall of 2014 and rising temperature could pose serious constraint on livestock production in some areas. Rainfall will be common over the coastal areas with occasional flash flood and ocean surges; this will greatly affect persons living along the flood plains. The magnitude of this devastation shall depend on the activities of the people,â€ he explained.
Bello said the state government had already commenced its de-flooding programme in three phases, which would be characterised by massive clearing and dredging of primary and secondary channels, expansion of existing drainage channels in order to contain more storm water, among others.
He urged Lagos residents to desist from acts that could lead to flooding, such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, as silted drains around homes and premises must be evacuated and illegal building of structures on drainage alignments, road setbacks and verges remained prohibited.