Monday, February 8, 2021

Lagos: the city battling to stay afloat

 The Nigerian city of Lagos is one of the fastest growing in the world. The most populous city in both Nigeria and the African continent, Lagos is a hive of activity, with plenty to offer. Yet the exciting and promising city is plagued by a constant risk of flooding, a risk that becomes ever more severe as the planet grows warmer and warmer.


The city of Lagos, Nigeria is a major economic hub. It's home to more than 24 million people, and with plenty of opportunity people are coming from far and wide.

But Lagos is also one of the African cities most affected by flooding and rising sea levels, a problem that is only compounded by the rising population.

Flooding has long since been a problem in Lagos, which experiences a tropical savanna climate. The wettest month of the year, June, can see up to 315.5 mm of rainfall.

The streets are often flooded due to the improper disposal of trash, which after a downpour builds up in open gutters and blocks the city’s streets.

To deal with the epic traffic jams caused by flooded streets, the city has introduced water transport. Ferry travel offers a speedy alternative to travel by bus or car.

So far the Lagos State Waterways Authority has introduced 42 ferry routes on the waterways, and there are 30 commercial jetties operating across the three districts.

The numbers of Lagos residents still relying on the roads is huge, and numbers of passengers on ferries has been low during the pandemic. It is clear that water transportation as an option still has a way to go.

A particularly visible defense against rising sea levels is the “Great Wall of Lagos,” a structure built to protect the shoreline by Eko Atlantic, a development under construction on reclaimed land.

Finally, Nigeria’s federal authorities have created an app, the Flood Mobile App, which is able to make predictions about extreme weather that allow cities like Lagos to adequately prepare.

Authorities therefore believe that the Flood Mobile App has great potential, although its effectiveness will be limited until greater numbers of Nigerians have smartphones.

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