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The Lekki FloodBy Olaide Banjo on July 19, 2017

It’s not just an Islander problem – it’s a Lagos problem – it is our problem

It had been raining for over 7 days non-stop in Lagos and probably everywhere else but during the weekend of July 7th in Lagos, it took a turn for the worst. Overnight, the sheer volume of the deluge flooded almost everywhere on the Lekki-Victoria Island axis. Residents took to their social media to lament the fallout of the flood. It had ruined property, important plans as well as deprived many of their comfort. Unforeseen expenses had to be made for accommodation in that trying time. Many were trapped indoors.

Boats and canoes were deployed by some to try to get out of flooded buildings while some even went as far as swimming. There was a major hike in transport fares for those who were compelled to venture out into murky waters. Many events in the affected and surrounding areas could not hold and so were postponed.

While those affected did not find it funny enough to make light of the situation, social media was alight with a sense of schadenfreude aimed squarely at the bows of soaked Islanders. There was a litany jokes about the incident.

Some members of the twitterati took to their timelines to poke fun and some yet to lambaste the rich who could afford to live in multi-million Naira houses but had failed to prioritize the repairs on drainage systems around them as this seemed to be the main cause of the flood.

In addition to a strong feeling of solidarity with affected Lagosians, practical advice for Lekki-Victoria Island residents will include making concerted efforts to have functional and regular refuse disposal and scheduled maintenance to drainage systems in the run up to the rainy season. For additional peace of mind, the time might be right to start considering appropriate insurance cover – if you know of any insurers offering specific flood cover, hit us up Ain the comments section and we’ll help spread the word.
This may be the time to get to know your elected local representatives and undertake some good old fashioned organised lobbying to trigger some action.

Samad Abdulsalam's In Good Time

READ: Samad Abdulsalam’s In Good Time.

If you ask me though, it’s not helpful in this instance to make a mockery of other people’s bad times. This is a matter of destruction of properties worth millions, unattended businesses, loss of income due to inability to get to work. The consequent hike in transportation fares and its effect on the cost of products and services could also have led to a net loss in the state’s productivity and income.

So no, it’s not just an Islander problem – it’s a Lagos problem – it is our problem. If anyone you know has built a suitable model for calculating the state’s lost income, we’d love to see some figures. On a related note: if the floods have affected you or people around you and you’d like to share your story, please reach out to us. Stay safe!

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