Prepare for heavier, unusual rainfall, Lagos warns residents


The Lagos State Government on Tuesday warned Lagosians to be prepared for heavier and unusual rainfall which may be accompanied by massive flood.

The government said if need be, residents of some flood-pone areas might have to relocate in the advent of flood or rise in water level.

Tokunbo Wahab, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, at a news briefing on Tuesday said the State is expected to experience more than normal amount of rainfall during the 2024 rainy season with a total of 1936.2mm predicted rainfall.

He said that the average annual rainfall amount predicted for 2024 is 1936.2mm which is greater than the long-term average of 1721.48mm with the onset date expected to be the first week of April and ceasing in the first week of December.

He said Ikeja is expected to have an onset date of 4th April and cessation date of 4th December with a high annual amount of 1900mm rainfall.

According to him, Badagry is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 1st April and cessation date of 5th December resulting in an annual amount of 1978mm while Ikorodu is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 4th April and cessation date of 4th December totaling an annual amount of 1903mm.

He added that Lagos Island is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 3rd April, cessation date of 4th December and an annual amount of 1,936mm while Epe is expected to have a rainfall onset date of 2nd April, cessation date of 5th December and an annual amount of 1952mm.

The commissioner stated that below normal rainfall amounts are anticipated in the first half of the rainy season while normal to above normal rainfall amounts are expected in the second half of the rainy season.

He reiterated that the Ministry’s collaboration with NiMet annually on the Seasonal Climate Prediction has been valuable as a vital weather and early warning tool for farmers, decision makers, operators of the various sectors and businesses that are likely to be impacted by the annual rainfall.

Wahab said government had plans to downscale the Seasonal Climate Prediction to stakeholders and emergency workers in the State, adding that the State had deployed and maintained its network of weather stations and river gauge stations to monitor the weather and river levels in the state and increase the preparedness for weather and flood related issues.

“We want to assure you that our state will continue to reap the benefits of a careful and rigorous execution planning, as our flood control measures are stepped up to contain any imminent rainfall; the Ministry has embarked on an all-year-round drainage maintenance program for effective and efficient flood control, in addition to an efficient and sustainable solid waste management system,” he said.

He added that to effectively contain flooding in the state government is determined to maintain the synergy and partnership with the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority (OORBDA) adding that the rainfall from neighbouring Ogun, Oyo and Osun States, dams release and rivers water levels into the State will also be monitored.

Wahab said the partnership has in years past ensured control and monitoring of the steady and systemic release of water from Oyan Dam to prevent flooding of the downstream reaches of the Ogun River saying the mutual relationship has been highly beneficial and will be sustain.

He stated that proactively, the State has strengthened the Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) to deliver reliable, timely and effective flood information at an appropriate response time, adding that the low-lying Agiliti, Agboyi, Itowolo and Ajegunle communities would be closely monitored with respect to the likelihood of Ogun River flooding as well as all other river basins in the State.

The Commissioner explained that it is expected that the high amounts of rainfall and other contributory factors might lead to flooding events in some parts of the State while leading to a rise in Lagoon level, saying that anytime there is high tidal movement, it might “lock up” the discharge points of drainage channels and that until it receded, there would be no discharge.

He maintained that government would ramp up sensitization for residents along flood plains of major rivers such as Owode, Iwaya, Makoko, Badia, Ijora, Isaalu, Pota, Shibiri to be alert and ready to relocate to higher grounds when the need arose.