NIMET predicts less rainfall for 2015

Flooding in Lagos... NIMET says the country would experience reduced rainfall, warmer-than-normal weather conditions, delayed onset (delayed rainfalls), as well as early cessation of rainfall and shorter length of growing seeds.

Flooding in Lagos… NIMET says the country would experience reduced rainfall, warmer-than-normal weather conditions, delayed onset (delayed rainfalls), as well as early cessation of rainfall and shorter length of growing seeds.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in its Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) has warned Nigerians to expect less rainfall and therefore urge farmers to brace up to the consequence of lengthy dry spells and short planting season that would characterize the insufficient rainfall in the course of the year.

The NIMET Director General, Dr. Anthony Anuforum, said the country would experience reduced rainfall, warmer-than-normal weather conditions, delayed onset (delayed rainfalls), as well as early cessation of rainfall and shorter length of growing seeds.

Anuforum said: “The length of the growing season is predicted to range from 98 days over Danboka, Sokoto State to 292 days in Brass, Bayelsa State. A shorter than normal length of growing season is predicted for most places. It is predicted to be significantly reduced in Sokoto, Awka, Ibi, Bauchi, Potiskum, Kano, Zaria, Gusau, Kaduna, Gombe, Minna, Makurdi and Ikom. A longer than normal length of season is expected over Uyo and Maiduguri. The season is expected to be normal in and around Abeokuta, Warri, Calabar and Eket.”

NIMET, therefore, advised farmers to plant drought resistant crop varieties. NIMET urged relevant government agencies to source for the farmers appropriate seed varieties, cuttings and seedlings for all crops. NIMET also urged farmers to make serious effort in harvesting a lot of the rainwater.

NIMET said government should subsidize farm inputs, such as fertilizers, agro-chemicals, and hiring of tractors, among other services, the agency also urged financial institutions to provide credit facilities in good time.

To ensure adequate and sufficient yield good yield of cereal, root crops and other crop types in 2015, NIMET said farmers will need to be supported irrigation, adding that stakeholders would need to embark on increased sensitization so as to disseminate the information early enough to reduce loses

The implication of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction on the health sector revealed that the moderate Harmattan predicted for the month of January to April, ailment such as respiratory track infection like pneumonia, cough, catarrh, and asthma would be on the increase in frequency, particularly in parts of north.

Warmer than Normal Temperature conditions predicted in places such as Ado-Ekiti, Abuja, Akure, Asaba, Awka, Ibadan, Ibi, Ijebu-Ode, Markurdi, Minna, Ogoja, Ondo, Enugu, Oshogbo, and Lokoja would likely lead to hotter days, heat stress, and dehydration, young children, elderly people with medical conditions and the poor would be the most vulnerable.

According to the SRP document, “in all, rainfall will be generally delayed by between two and 13 days in many parts of the country in 2015. The delay will be most pronounced between eight and 13 days in and around Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Kogi, Yobe states, northern Cross River, Rivers, Delta, Oyo, Lagos, Niger and Ogun states. However, the onset of rainfall is expected to be normal in Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, and parts of northern Yobe, Katsina and Sokoto states.

“An early cessation of rainfall is predicted for most parts of the northwest, north central, Enugu, Awka, Ikom and Ijebu Ode. It is expected to be well pronounced in Sokoto State. Areas such as Bida, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ondo, Akure, Benin, Warri, Uyo and Calabar are predicted to have later-than-normal end of growing season in 2015.

“The annual rainfall amount is predicted to range from 388mm at Yobe to about 2962mm in Brass during 2015. Annual rainfall is predicted to be below normal in several places and significant in and around Yelwa, Potiskum, Nguru, Bauchi, Ibi and Gombe. Others include Eket, Enugu, Lokoja, Ibadan, Ogoja, Owerri, Uyo, Warri and Asaba.

“Above-normal rainfall is expected in parts of the northwest, Adamawa and inland of the southwest. The rest of the country is predicted to experience a normal rainfall regime in 2015.” In view of the foregoing, it is obvious that there are relevant strategic steps that should be taken by the affected sectors, which are quite a number – agriculture, water resources, power, transport (land and air), maritime, health, communication, and emergency response. It is however commendable that the SRP also highlights the socio-economic implications for the country, sector by sector.”

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