It could soon become uninhabitable, experts warn Cars and houses submerged in water, passengers wading through buses knee-deep in water, and homeowners calculating the value of destroyed property. Welcome to Lagos during the rainy season.
The people of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, are accustomed to the annual floods that hit the coastal city between March and November. However, in mid-July, the main business district of Lagos Island experienced one of the worst floods in recent years.
“It was very bad and unusual,” said 32-year-old Eselebor Oseluonamhen.
"I drove out of my house … I didn't know it was raining so hard … There was heavy traffic on my route due to flooding. The further we went, the higher the water level rose. The water continued to rise until it covered the bumper of my car … then water poured into the car, "recalls Oseluonamhen, who runs a media firm on the Lagos mainland.
Photos and videos posted on social media show dozens of vehicles submerged in water after heavy rain. Floods paralyze economic activity, and their damage is estimated at about $ 4 billion a year.
Lagos, a low-lying city on Nigeria's Atlantic coast, home to over 24 million people, could become uninhabitable by the end of this century due to rising sea levels from climate change, according to scientific forecasts.
The problem is compounded, inter alia, by "inadequate and poorly maintained drainage systems and uncontrolled urban growth," according to a study by the Institute for Development Research.
Nigeria's hydrological agency NIHSA predicts more catastrophic floods in September, usually during the peak of the rainy season.