THE Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) which predicated the flood scenario in 2012 and analyzed the most likely areas to experience flood has once again, predicted that most parts of Nigeria are likely to experience delayed onset, early cessation less-than-normal rainfall amounts and dry spells in 2016.
The Director-General of NIMet, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, who announced this recently at the 2016 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), noted that the expected lower-than-normal rainfall in parts of the country does not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially flood prone places, such as Delta State and other Niger Delta costal states.
According to him, NIMET’s SRP is part of the agency’s meteorological Early Warning System, containing rainfall and temperature outlook for the year, as well as the possible socio-economic implications of the projected weather patterns.
SRP, he said, was designed to provide vital information for planning and execution of projects and programmes in various sectors of the economy, especially those that are sensitive to weather variability, such as agriculture, air transportation, infrastructure construction, telecommunications and water resources.
He specifically pointed out that rainfall predictions are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas that must be carefully managed, adding that, ‘‘dry spells during the rainy season may be more frequent and severe in many parts of the North, while the ‘Little Dry Season’ or August break in parts of the South is expected to be pronounced. These are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas and has to be carefully and scientifically managed,” he said.
The agency also warned of the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially flood prone places, especially, the Niger Delta region.
He then stressed the importance of proactive measures to avert the reoccurrence of devastating experiences recorded in the region in the previous years.
This predication as a matter of fact, call for prompt proactive measures to save lives and property, especially for the coastal communities in Delta State, on the heel of the rampaging flooding of Lagos State, some part of Kano, Sokoto (over 60 houses were destroyed during Sunday heavy rainfall), Kogi, Benue and other states across the nation.
Aware of the impending dooms and its consequences’, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has swiftly warned the most likely states (pencilled down), including Delta State, Bayelsa State and others for prompt proactive measures, to avert carnages.
It would be recalled that immediate proactive measures, employed by the Delta State Government, during the 2012 flood disaster, which reportedly claimed many lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira across the nation, saved the situation.
This predication came on the heels of the rampaging impacts of flood in Lagos State, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Benue States and other states across the nation. The Pointer Environment learnt that some states in the northern region have had series of bitter experiences due to the devastating impacts of the flood, which resulted in the destruction of many buildings.
Fortunately, the casualty recorded in Delta State in 2012 was very low, compared with the other Niger Delta States, because of the proactive measures adopted by the state government, especially, the swift measures, carefully and cleverly taken to curb the devastating impact of the natural disaster. The former state government, aware of the impending doom associated with the natural disaster, carried out massive disaster awareness campaigns across the state, relocated those residing in flood prone areas and settled them in conducive areas, equipped with food, medical equipment and medical personals.
The 2016 flood prediction must again be taken with more seriousness by the State Ministry of Environment, especially now that the flood has started recording its toll across the nation.
Our respondents, who spoke on the issue, while expressing confidence on the ability of the state government to manage the situation effectively and efficiently with less stress, stressed the importance of early positive measures to curb and contain the ugly situation.
Mr. David Samuel from Delta South expressed worries over the predication and called for immediate action to reduce the effect on his people residing on the coastal areas across the state.
He noted that the 2012 and 2015 flood disasters, destroyed their homes and economic plants and other properties, adding that many of them were yet to recover from the shocking experiences they had, ‘‘now come another one’’.
Mr. Henry Ugbomah from Ndokwa East Local Government Area urged the state Ministry of Environment, State Waste Management Board and other stakeholders in filth management to embark on sensitization campaigns and opening of natural water canals and drainage systems.
Another respondent, Madam Edith Oke, called for the removal of illegal structures, blocking the water channels to avert the flooding of the areas prone to flood, especially in places like Warri, Ughelli, Asaba, Aboh, and others.