Michael Adesanya /Abeokuta
The Ogun State Government on Wednesday raised the alarm over imminent flooding and warned residents to prepare for heavy rainfall this year.
The State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Bolaji Oyeleye, who spoke at a press briefing in Abeokuta said the 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) revealed that states like Ogun, Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Oyo and Adamawa are to experience “above normal rainfall.”
The Commissioner said the NiMet prediction also revealed that extended rain fall between three-eight days are also expected in the listed states.
The government, therefore, strongly advised residents, especially those living close to canals and drainages, to desist from dumping refuse inside them, saying this could hinder free flow of water and further aggravate flooding.
According to Oyeleye, the prediction could cause heavy release of water from the major two dams, Oyan and Ikere Gorge dams in the state “and this could result to flooding.
Quoting the NiMet prediction, the Commissioner specifically listed some major cities to experience heavy rain fall in the state to include, Abeokuta with 242 days of 1,295mm rain fall, Ewekoro, 229 days of 2075mm and Ijebu-Ode, 245 days of 1,526mm.
Other cities are, Ikenne with 240 days of 1,742mm, Ipokia, 247 days of 1872 days, Otta, 243 days of 1810 days and Sagamu with 240 days of 1753mm rain fall.
Oyeleye disclosed that the NiMet also predicted that many Nigerians would likely experience “above danger heat stress this year due to combination of heat and humility.”
The Commissioner added, “The impact is that exposure to excessive heat for too long could cause heat stress which may in turn lead to several illness collectively called hyperthermia.”
The Commissioner warned that the task force officials of the Ministry would be going round the State to enforce environmental laws, stressing that the Ministry would demolish any house built on water ways.
The Coordinator of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Aremu Adebakin disclosed that the agency had started sensitising residents of the State on likely occurrence of flooding, stressing that those living close to river banks have been asked to relocated from their houses for the period of the rainy season to avoid loss of lives and property.
Adebakin also urged people living in dilapidated buildings to renovate them or evacuate as soon as possible, saying “these people should not wait for disasters to strike and expect the government to come to their aid.”