It rained non-stop in Lagos for 5 consecutive days and hell was let loose. Our mega city’s highbrow area was flooded temporarily and the social media went agog with mockery and ridicule.
How did we get here? How did we become a people who laugh and merry at the misfortune of others? Where is our conscience as a people?
What happened in Lekki and Victoria Island has happened in other parts of the world. It has happened in America and Europe, so it isn’t peculiar to the Third World or dependent on the revenue a country or state generates internally.
As recent as 2016 it snowed heavily in the United States and governors in at least 10 states declared states of emergency. Travels were disrupted in at least five major airports, over 6,000 flights were cancelled and in North Carolina alone, more than 114,000 homes lost power.
Adverse weather warnings are still being issued in the United Kingdom and other parts of the developed world. The warnings either ask citizens to evacuate an affected area or to stay indoors. The entire east coast of the United States, including New York was snowed in for about 3 days earlier this year.
There is also a human angle to it and we all have our roles to play. We block our drainage systems with refuse, pollute air with fumes, deplete our ozone layer, and recently Uncle Sam pulled out of the Paris Agreement. No thanks to President Trump. We need to actively join in the campaign to embrace clean and green energy in order to reduce the chances of more extreme weather situations in the future.
We should also concentrate on how to avoid flooding situations or minimize the impact if it occurs. It is a well known fact that drainage infrastructure planning is grossly inadequate in most developed areas in the state and necessary steps should be taken by the government to address this situation.
The provision of an adequate drainage system should be complemented with a high environmental standard of constant maintenance to keep the drainages free from dirt. Make no mistake about it.