16 February 2013

Nigeria: Prepare for Heavy Rains, Flooding This Year - Nimet

Nigerians have been asked to prepare for heavy rainfall and flooding in 2013 which could be the same or worse than the 2012 episode.

Presenting the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction for this year and the release of the 2012 Nigerian Climate Review Bulletin in Abuja yesterday, director-general of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom, said that this year's rainfall prediction pattern in most parts of Nigeria would likely to be similar to that of 2012.

"The total rainfall predicted for 2012 may exceed that of 2013, especially some areas in the north-western parts of the country which also fall within the catchment area of River Niger. The predicted rainfall amount for 2013 will range from about 420 mm spread over 120 days in the extreme North-East to 2,980 mm over a period of 290 days."

Anuforom stated that the rainfall pattern over Nigeria had become more variable due to the effects of climate change and global warming, which is a big challenge for atmospheric scientists all over the world, and urged the relevant emergency agencies, state governments and the federal government to create awareness in order to reduce damages and loss of lives and property.

"NIMET will continue to monitor the trend in all parts of the country and publish any update periodically as the rainy season progresses," Anuforom said.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, however, commended NIMET for being up and doing over the years.

"NIMET has not failed Nigerians; I recall vividly that NIMET issued several warnings of the possibility of serious flooding in different parts of the country. Despite these warnings, an unprecedented flood ravaged almost the entire country. 27 states where affected, over 300 lives were lost, about 2million persons displaced from their homes, invariable farmlands, livestock and lands were lost, particularly in the rural areas. The damage and loss to the nation were mind blowing," he said.

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