The most populous city in Africa will soon become uninhabitable due to rising sea levels

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) – Cars and houses are submerged, passengers are knee-deep in floodwaters to reach buses and owners are counting the cost of their destroyed property.

Welcome to Lagos in the rainy season.

Residents of Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, are used to the annual floods that hit the coastal city from March to November. However, in mid-July, the main business district of Lagos Island experienced the worst flooding in recent years.

“This is very bad and unusual,” Esselbor Oselonamen, 32, told CNN.

“I left my house … I did not realize it was raining so much … there was a lot of traffic on my route due to the flood. And as we went, the water level rose. It went up and closed the bumper. , “Recalled Oselonamen, who runs a media company in Lagos.

Photos and videos posted on social media show dozens of vehicles have been submerged in water after heavy rains. The floods are estimated to cost about $ 4 billion a year.

The Greenland coast threatens sea level 0:53

Lagos, a low-lying city on the Atlantic coast of Nigeria and home to more than 24 million people, is expected to become uninhabitable by sea level rise by the end of this century, according to scientific estimates.

The problem is exacerbated by “inadequate and poorly maintained drainage systems and uncontrolled urban development”. Institute of Development Studies.

Nigerian Institute of Hydrology (NIHSA) Predicts more catastrophic flooding in September, usually the peak of the rainy season.

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Costa Erosion

Lagos is built on the mainland and a series of islands.

According to a Nigerian environmentalist, it deals with an erosive beach that could flood the city. செய்புன்மி அடேபோட், Is due to global warming and “a long-term man-induced activity”.

They said sand extraction for construction was a major factor contributing to coastal erosion in Lagos. Environmentalists.

Manzo Ezekiel, spokesman for the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told CNN that the Victoria Islands riverbank in Lagos is already “bulldozed … especially in the VI area of ​​Lagos”. “There is a problem with the riverbank being washed away. The rising water level is eating away at the land,” Ezekiel added.

On the island of Victoria, the prosperous neighborhood of Lagos, a completely new coastal city known as the ‘Eco Atlantic’, is being built on reclaimed land from the Atlantic Ocean, and protected by water built by an 8-kilometer-long wall. Concrete blocks, developers say.

Although the ambitious plan will help reduce housing shortages in other parts of the city, Ezekiel fears that “reclaiming land from the sea will put pressure on other coastal areas.”

Other critics have argued that areas not protected by the wall will be affected by the storm. CNN Echo has approached Atlantic for feedback.

Coastal cities are at risk of flooding

Study results show that low-lying coastal cities in some parts of the world could be permanently submerged by 2100. Study published by the study group Climate Center It was pointed out that the affected areas could sink below the high waves if the sea level continues to rise.

“As a result of thermal engine pollution from human activities, 300 million people currently live on land that has been submerged for three decades by rising sea levels,” the study said. “By 2100, areas now inhabited by 200 million people will be permanently down below high tides,” he added.

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Globally, sea levels are forecast to rise by more than 2 meters by the end of this century.

This leaves Lagos Experts It is less than two meters above sea level and is in a dangerous condition as part of the Nigerian coast is low. A Study In 2012, the University of Plymouth in the UK found that sea level rise was just 1 to 3 meters, “causing a catastrophic effect on human activities” in coastal environments in Nigeria.

Adobot told CNN that Lagos’ fate “depends on how we prioritize this scientific prediction and the actions we take accordingly.” “It is a matter of time before nature puts pressure on it, which can be a disaster,” he added.

Deadly floods in Nigeria

Perennial floods have killed many people and displaced dozens of people off the coast of Nigeria. According to the data No.More than 2 million people were directly affected by the floods in 2020.

At least 69 people were killed in floods last year. In 2019, more than 200,000 people were affected by the floods, with 158 deaths.

“Every year we see floods in Nigeria. This is a problem brought about by climate change and we are living with it,” Ezekiel told CNN.

Beyond the impact of Lagos on climate change, poor drainage systems and blocked sewers across large parts of the city are believed to have exacerbated flood problems.

“As much as climate change is affecting sea level rise, what you see in this video is mainly the drainage system problem.” Tweeted When a social media user responds to a video of the recent flood in Lagos.

However, as flooding increases in some areas, low-income neighborhoods built on reclaimed wetlands have to struggle with submerged buildings.

They were trapped in a flooded tunnel 1:12

Makes Lagos float

Adobe told CNN that Lagos should float when floods and sea levels rise, and that it should adapt to climate change.

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“We need to look at our infrastructure: drainage systems, waste management facilities, housing structures … how flexible and adaptable these infrastructures are when confronted with environmental pressures, and when will they come with our growing population?”

Aerial view of Lagos, Nigeria in April 2016.

Lagos officials began clearing the state’s water canals to alleviate the continuing flooding.

Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari has expressed his desire to partner with world allies to tackle climate change.

“We look forward to working with the President [Joe] Biden and vice president [Kamala] Harris. We look forward to working together to improve global terrorism, climate change, poverty and economic relations, and trade, and to strengthen existing goodwill, “Buhari tweeted in January.

But Adobe says the government’s response to climate change is “often flawed.”

“In order to take appropriate climate action for Nigeria, especially in the face of the vulnerabilities that are already threatening our livelihoods, sustainable and deliberate action must be taken by various stakeholders,” he added.

Olumide Ido, an environmental activist, urged government officials to partner with the private sector to increase funding to address the problems.

“The government should consider private sector associations to put pressure on climate funding to solve the flood problems,” Idowu told CNN.

The Nigerian economy has struggled in recent years, cutting funding for climate change and other important sectors. However, officials are still committed to accelerating the country’s response to climate change.

Last month, Nigeria’s Ministry of Environment announced the President’s endorsement of an updated national policy on climate change, aimed at “most of the challenges posed by climate change and climate change in the country,” a ministry spokesman wrote. Release From Twitter.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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