Seasonal Increase in Rainfall Makes Lagosians Nervous

Image from Lagos flood 2011.

As farmers in rural regions of Nigeria are desperately eager for the coming of rain so that different farm produce may blossom for their economic gains. People in Lagos are looking forward to it with mixed feelings.

This is the period of the year when people consider a change of residence, because in doing so, one would know the water logged areas and the areas free from flood. It is a time when the boreholes and wells have sufficient water but because of poor city construction among other factors, it makes it difficult for people to live in their homes.

Lagos is currently congested as the number of new entrants into the city keeps increasing on a daily basis. As such, the capitalists keep building edifices on any available space. All the floodplains have been converted to residential estates. It becomes difficult for residents of these houses not to experience perennial flooding.

The level at which sand-filling is currently done in Lagos is akin to sitting on a key of gunpowder which may explode sooner or later. Many places starting from Iyana Oworo, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki Phase 1 have all been sand-filled to create beautiful neighborhoods. Recently, the Eko Atlantic City, which is under construction, has displaced the Bar Beach. This is another way of distorting the ecosystem. People are agitated about this because it can equally lead to a tsunami and Nigerian Emergency Services might not be able to handle such a natural disaster.

Irregular and often incorrect water disposal methods also compound what should be great glee with the coming of increased rainfall. Lagosians empty their trash bins into sewer drains. The creeks, lagoons and beaches are filled with filthy items. As the saying goes, “water would always find its level” but as it finds its level; it has some devastating effects. The drainage system does not properly “drain and is blocked by sand particles or some systems have rusted making water not easy to flow through it.

All of this should, one might hope, be looked into by road maintenance agencies. Lagos, particularly, should be more proactive than reactive to the rains.

The rainy season is approaching with the usual fright, and the hope is that lives, livestock and property are safe from any form of destruction during and after the rain falls.