Open Collective
Open Collective
For Omomowo Olamibode, all hell broke loose on July 8, 2022.
Published on October 27, 2022 by The Xylom

After three days of rain in Lagos, Nigeria, the second-largest city in Africa, floods invaded streets in the suburb of Sabo, Yaba. Water poured into homes, wreaking havoc everywhere. After trying and failing to retrieve certain possessions, the 34-year-old businessman and his family were stranded since there was too much water and had to resort to saving themselves. 

“My family's home was first impacted; the water level was up to the window level, and we had to pack everything inside the house, some of which we forgot. Since I was too busy running around… I completely forgot that I had a shop to take care of, which caused many things in the shop to spoil.”

“The incident was traumatic, as a storm tore off our roof. After a month, we were finally able to cover the roof again, but not before it had completely wrecked everything.”

Lagos is a coastal city bound to experience flooding both by a higher-than-expected rise in sea levels induced by climate change in the long run, and short-term storm surges from the sea overflowing into the land. The metropolis of 15.4 million residents was first built on Lagos Island and spread onto the Mainland as its population exploded. It is grappling with an eroding coastline that makes the city vulnerable to flooding. Making matters worse, the unchecked destruction of wetlands and weak flood control infrastructure are making the state more vulnerable to intense rainfall and water overflow.

Read our investigative feature on the present and future of flooding in Nigeria.