As if developing countries like Nigeria did not have enough to contend with, more people are migrating to the country from neighbouring countries.
Some 128,000 Nigerians who were living in Cameroon arrived on Lagos Island last month. In July 2017, around 70,000 also crossed into the United States from Gambia. A few months before, some 16,000 people landed from Sierra Leone on the same place.
Some of these Nigerians came from places like Moba, a neighbourhood in the city’s low-lying environs which is a constant risk of flooding.
For decades, Lagos City Hall has been arguing with UNESCO over the seawall which protects Lagos Harbour from the incoming waves. It makes up just 4.9 percent of the 56 kilometres of wall, according to reports. “Lagos, whose structure is encased by a high wall protecting the town from floods, has seen an alarming incursion of modern seaways”, said one of the agency’s officials.
Every year, the nation’s third-largest city struggles with severe weather and natural disasters. In May, an earthquake damaged several buildings, and in July, a fire in the Lagos neighbourhood of Ifako Ima Lagos killed about 100 people. A similar disaster in 2012 killed 2,800 people.
The government has deployed the army to demolish shantytowns and massively invest in flood protection and drainage systems. But the plans have been controversial.