The simple reason why these floods must not return next year

By Stephanie Busari

One half of Lagos is submerged under water after torrential downpour during the height of the rainy season, leaving many (myself included) trapped at home.

The island is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the country, yet most of this pricey square mile suffers from very poor drainage system. A lot of homes are flooded and cars submerged under water.

Many people won’t be able to use their cars without expensive water damage repairs. Cars are a lifeline in a place with such poor transport infrastructure.

A lot of businesses will lose revenue because customers can’t get to them or they are flooded. There will be a devastating domino effect that will weaken an already fragile economy.

Not to talk about the inevitable loss of life but who will really seek to find out how many died?

Now, the rainy season happens every year. It is not a surprise but preparations have been woefully lacking.

When something like this happens in most parts of the world, the governor would be addressing the people and telling them what steps they are taking to ensure it never happens again.

This Reuters article warned in 2008 that rising sea levels leave Lagos at risk.

Stefan Cramer, an expert quoted in the report, said at the time: “Most of the construction in Lekki is bound to fail because it is built on sand which has never been properly consolidated.” “There’s only one option: moving to higher ground.”

His report makes for sobering reading for Nigerians but are these dire warnings being heeded?

I’m willing to bet that after the waters have subsided people will return to business as usual and similar images will be shared again come next rainy season.

We must and can do better to demand accountability from those we elect to power.

Our lives depend on it.

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