Scientists predict Lagos may lose 260,000 lives to flood in another ten years


By Abiose Adelaja Adams

Though the Lagos State government has given assurances on mitigating future flood disasters, in the aftermath of the recent flooding in Lagos, a recent report which chronicles flooding hazards of sixteen years in the State, has shown that such events may result in loss of up to 260,000 lives in the next ten years. This may be accompanied by a GDP (gross domestic product) loss of $5526.2million and $48.1million urban damage.

The Study titled “Coastal Cities at Risk”, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), was released exactly a year ago July 10, 2016.

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It shows that anthropogenic factors (rather than climatic) such as removal of vegetation, loss of wetland, obstruction of water ways, as well as a large population of environmentally-ignorant people, will continue to cause flooding.

Conducted by Dr. Ibukun Adelekan of the Geography Department, University of Ibadan, it showed the July 10, 2011 flood caused an estimated loss of 30 billion Naira (as at then where 150Naira = 1US Dollar). Insurance claims following the flood event was the highest recorded from flood incidents in Nigeria. There were twenty five lives lost. While many were rendered homeless as houses were submerged by the floods.

According to the Study the July 2011 flood was caused by heavy rains of 233 mm. Incidentally experts say this year’s rain water collected is about 477mm. “That is equivalent to the rainfalls experienced in other climes for six months,” Mr. Ade Adesanya, Lagos Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure Development, said.

The Study spotted inadequate drainage system in most parts of the city and blocked drains resulting from indiscriminate dumping of solid waste as a predisposing factor to future disaster.

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