The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on Thursday cautioned the South-western part of the country and Cross River against excessive rainfall which could lead to flooding.
The Director-General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, gave the warning in Abuja while giving an update on the review of the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Predictions (SRP) and the effect of the rainfall pattern to Nigerians. He said presently the soil moisture around Abeokuta, Lagos, Calabar, Ibadan, Ijebu Ode and Uyo had been saturated, adding that the moisture level in Lokoja was also building up gradually.
The NIMET boss said even though the areas might experience flooding due to the saturated soil level, “there is no cause for alarm if government, agencies and everybody will take precaution.
“Strong indications emerged that the groundwater over Cross River, Lagos and Ogun are already very wet and these areas will be affected by flood.
“In the 2013 SRP released in February, NIMET informed Nigerians that although a normal rainfall is predicted for many parts of the country, normal rainfall trend may still result in flooding.
“It may also result in associated consequences mainly as a result of high intensity of rainfall, therefore, peoples’ attitude of dumping refuse in water channels and drains must be stopped.”
He said rainfall has not yet stabilised against the 2013 SRP report but advised that those areas where the soil moisture is beginning to build up should watch out.
Anuforom said there was more rainfall between January and May across the country compared to the last 30years, adding that the likelihood of flooding would be due to more rains between June and July.
According to NIMET, the areas where the rains have been recorded heavier between January and May include Lagos, Abeokuta, Calabar, Ogoja, Ijebu Ode, Lokoja, Akure, Ibadan, Owerri and Uyo.
He advised farmers to pay attention to NIMET information because agriculture played a key role in the country’s economy, noting that rainfall and drought information was sensitive to farming. Anuforom added that NIMET would continue to provide updates as the conditions evolve, saying: “We advise that necessary precautions should be taken by the public.’’
Meanwhile, he said, the International Standard Organisation (ISO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) have certified NIMET and the agency has received an ISO9001 Certificate.
He said the implication of the certificate was that NIMET report is now acceptable by international airlines and other relevant agencies, and advised Nigerians to imbibe the habit of regular use of its information.
“The certificate testifies the quality of services rendered by NIMET and all known international standards and means there is renewed confidence in the type of meteorological services we render.
“Safety in the airspace cannot be achieved if the weather and climate reports are not accurate because 35 per cent of air accidents are linked with weather.
“With the type of equipment NIMET has, the services both NIMET and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) render, I am proud to say that the Nigeria airspace is safe.”