Lagosians in flood-prone areas of the metropolis have been overwhelmed with fear over predictions by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that the state will record a total of 260 days of rainfall this year.
According to the prediction, rainfall for Lagos State would be between 245-260 days, with maximum annual record of 1,824mm of water, while the southern part of the state will be warmer than normal at night, the Lagos Island and its environs will be colder than normal.
This prediction was further collaborated by the Lagos State government yesterday when it also urged residents to brace up for at least 260 days of heavy rainfall in 2015.
The state Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello, said this while briefing reporters on the 2015 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) and attendant socio-economic implication for the state.
Bello also warned that due to the climate change, Lagos may not experience dry spell also known as August break in 2015. Rather, it will rain throughout the year unlike other years.
Therefore, pilots, farmers, dam managers are also advised to brace up for the challenges of the changing weather to avert disaster that are not unrelated to climate change.
Noting that the change in the weather may also lead to prevalence of malaria, due to warmer than normal whether and high humidity at different times across the country, the commissioner assured that his ministry would be collaborating with the state Ministry of Health in the fight against malaria.
Bello said: “This high humidity are favorable condition for the growth of pests, vectors and spreading of diseases. Therefore, the higher the temperature and humidity, the more rapid the life cycle of mosquitoes and frequencies in mosquito bites. So, we urged the general public to be well prepared.
“Lagos is expected to be moderately affected by mosquitoes; nevertheless, it is of utmost importance that Lagosians must keep their environment clean to minimize the effect of mosquitoes.”
However, this is the sounding bell of alarm for residents in flood-prone areas like Ikosi-Ketu, Mile 12, Agiliti, Thomas Laniyan Estate, Owode-Onirin, Agboyi, Ajegunle Owodelede, Maidan and Isheri North Scheme, who have been at the receiving end of heavy downpour in the metropolis. The forecast is subtle way of asking them to relocate from their homes.
Recalling his experience when flood ravaged the area and destroyed property worth several millions of Naira, Nurudeen Afeez, said with such heavy rain, there is the likelihood of an emergency release of water from the Oyan Dam. The warning, he said, has become a recurring decimal in the area, since government has failed to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Afeez, who has lived at Agiliti, which fall within the Ogun-Osun River Basin, for over a decade, said the idea of relocating from his home is not palatable and should not be an annual ritual.