Breaking News

More rains to hit Lagos, Rivers, Bayelsa till Dec –Experts

As heavy rains continue to pound on several states across the country thereby disrupting daily activities, environment experts have blamed climate change and rising global temperature for the erratic rainfall pattern which has claimed son many lives and caused environmental havoc.  The experts spoke amid rising concerns among Nigerians on the unceasing rains even as the year is running to an end. Normally by October, the rains are expected to become scanty with the rainy season winding down, and giving way for the dry seasons.

But lately, several parts of the country are still facing heavy rains and severe flooding, which have sent fears to most Nigerians.  This month alone nearly 12 people have been killed in various parts of Lagos by environmental disaster triggered by heavy rains, while other states are still battling with the ravaging flood that has swept most homes away.

Speaking to Sunday Sun on the development, Ibrahim Adamu, a director at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), agreed that it was unusual to be having heavy rains by this time of the year, disclosing that the rains would continue till late November and December in some parts of the country.

“It is slightly abnormal because now instead of the rain to begin to recede, it is continuing. In places like Lokoja, the water level has far exceeded what we reported in 2012. Our auditors went to examine some of our stations, and we found out in Lokoja that some of the stations have been submerged by flood. Also, it has been raining continuously in places like Minna, Niger State. Again on Thursday in Abuja, heavy rains started around 5:00 a.m till around 12 midday.

“Why we are worried this year is because of the intensity of the rain. Because if it were drizzling there would not be much concern, but the rains are quite intense, and the flooding is severe, which is further compounded by our challenge with blocked drainages.

“In March, we predicted that 34 states with 75 local governments areas would face intense flooding. But as I’m talking to you now, all the 36 states have been affected by flooding, including Abuja and we have over 200 local governments that have been affected from the 774 local government we have in the country. It is tremendous indeed. In fact, the data we have seems to have exceeded the one we got in 2012. Our fingers are crossed and we’ll keep watching the situation,” he said.

Adamu attributed the changing weather to climate change, and cautioned that rains would continue unabated in the coming week.

“Our weather conditions are caused by climate change, the releases of gaseous materials into the ozone layer, which is eating up the ozone layer thereby exposing the atmosphere to unnecessary cloudy and constant rainfall.

“The coastal regions like Lagos, Port Harcourt should expect more flood till end of November. So, we have another one month of four weeks of intensive rainfall. And in Bayelsa, the rains would continue till December. And now that the rains are going, it should mindful that it comes with heavy wind that could pull down structures”, he warned.

Even with the worrisome verdict, Mr Julius Ayo Bankole, a meteorologist at the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) said that there is no cause for alarm.

Mr Bankole disclosed that the heavy rainfall persists because of a surge that incuses into the ITD (Inter-Tropical Discontinuity).

The ITD is a demarcation line between North/North-eastern winds from the Sahara (hot, dry and dusty) and South/South-western winds from the Atlantic Ocean (cool and moist).

According to Bankole, the incursion on the ITD causes more moisture and thus becomes a catalyst for heavy rain experienced in parts of the country.

“Blockage of the Tibetan highs causes a surge which pressures our ITD. But when the Tibetan high subsides, the ITD would move, and the rain would give way for the dry season, ” he said.

Against this backdrop, the weather experts also warned Nigeria’s to be more mindful of preserving their environment. Mr Adamu of FMWR particularly decried Nigerians’ attitude towards environmental matters.

According to him, the malaise of flood devastations occurs because of our poor drainage systems.

“The intensity of the flooding we experience at this time is caused by our poor maintenance of the drainage system. It is sad that we’re indiscipline in this country, people just go about clearing farmlands, building houses on water channels. These acts open up the land surface

“Our main problem is that so much quantity of rainwater falls on the Nigerian nation and it is washed off again into the ocean without us tapping the water for other uses. At a point some parts of the country would be so bare they won’t have enough water to carry out irrigations, or for the animals to drink, etc. In developed countries like the U.S and other European countries, they have artificial lakes scattered all over the city. This helped them collect these waters and use it in developing the ecosystem. The only example we have in Nigeria is located in Jabi, in Abuja. We need to establish more.”

No comments