World Tsunami Awareness Day: Lagos overview and risk of submergence
Morning Crossfire focuses attention on the dangers facing fast-growing cities worldwide. At the present time, the show looks at Lagos, as one of the cities that have flooding problems already putting inhabitants in danger.
As Wemimo mentions, the Federal Government also sounded warning to a few states of the federation over flooding issues. She hints on the following issues: What areas in Lagos are already submerged? In which areas would one contemplate buying properties for fear of a tsunami? Is it even possible that Lagos can be at risk of a tsunami?
World Tsunami Awareness Day was the brainchild of Japan. Due to its repeated, bitter experiences, the country has over the years built up major expertise in areas such as tsunami early warning, public action and building back better after a disaster to reduce future impacts.
Meanwhile, by the year 2030, an estimated 50 percent of the world's population will live in coastal areas exposed to flooding, storms and tsunamis. According to the World Economic Forum, these eleven cities are sinking and face the danger of disappearance: Jakarta Indonesia, Lagos Nigeria, Houston Texas, Dhaka Bangladesh, Venice Italy, Virginia Beach Virginia, Bangkok Thailand, New Orleans Louisiana, Rotterdam The Netherlands, Alexandria Egypt and Miami Florida.
The United Nations noted that hundreds of thousands of people have perished in tsunamis over the last 100 years. November is designated as World Tsunami Awareness Day, hence, the importance of this discussion.
Mr. Majekodunmi says the situation is really scary and it is like the situation when people warn a house occupant that smoke is emanating from his window. “The scientists who are giving these warnings have been studying these things for decades,” says Majekodunmi.
“The first thing we have to know is why is this happening. And we need to know that we as Africans have disregarded respect for nature, we treat things flippantly. So we need to do the right things.”
Joy Kalio, 99.3 Nigeria Info’s correspondent was at Adeniji Adele, Lagos. In her introduction, Joy explains that the houses in that water-front community are submerged in water as a result of the land reclamation by government. The house are on the brink of collapse and when the water comes into the area, waste comes with it.
A lot of people have fallen sick in that community but add to that, the pain of waste management agencies, who have abandoned them for years. The occupants bought the houses but many of them have been living there for over three decades.
There are children who live there, go to school, and some occupants regularly have to pack water out of their houses. The occupants want government to come to their aid.
One resident, who says he’s Mr. Ogunlana claims he’s been living in the area for some time and the situation is so worse that they’ve been appealing to government to come to their aid.
“Look at this place now, can we call this place an estate? The situation is very bad and we are not happy. It is not even encouraging for Lagos state. We rely so much on government because we believe that they always help their people. The agencies in care of this place have abandoned us. When the water is full at the lagoon, it comes here and when the rains start, the situation is worsened.”
Engr. Clement Nze, who also watched the coverage by Joy Kalio real-time on Morning Crossfire, said the situation is a pathetic one but also noted that the issue was not the same when many of the occupants of that estate came there years ago.
“This is exactly what we talked about earlier. Nature has specific systems and one of them is the marshlands. It is extremely valuable and it prevents flooding but when we do sand-filling anyhow and if there are no adequate drainages there’s going to be challenges like these,” Nze says.
However, he believes that Lagos is on track to solving this issue. According to Nze, a few right-hearted individuals have been appointed and they have mapped out the way forward and he says he believes they will soon begin to implement these things for Lagos state.
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Eng. Clement Nze - Director General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency
Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi - Environmental Activist and Founder, Lufasi Park
LAGOS AS A COASTAL CITY: OVERVIEW & THE RISK OF SUBMERGENCE
Morning Crossfire with Wemimo Adewuni (@wemimospot) & Sheriff Quadry (@SheriffQuadry)
By Jude Chukwuemeka