Lagos is doing very little about its drainage problem which is a major concern for its over 14 million residents.
Lagos, an emerging megacity is faced with the challenge of managing a total of 6,000 tonnes of solid waste generated in a day and disposal.
With a population estimated at 14,842,000 in 2018, according to the World Population Review, the Lagos metropolis can be referred to as a megacity in line with the United Nations’ definition.
The United Nations defines a megacity as a city with a population of 10 million or more people.
However, Lagos is doing very little about its drainage problem which is a major concern for its over 14 million residents, a figure that is estimated to shoot up to over 24 million by 2030.
The World Atlas reports that due to their high populations, megacities face several challenges that include but not limited to crime, energy and material resources, homelessness, and traffic congestion.
Lagos, an emerging megacity is faced with the challenge of managing waste generation and disposal.
The UK Independent reports that a total of 6,000 tonnes of solid waste is generated per day in the metropolis.
Compared to major megacities like Tokyo, New York, Paris, Berlin, and Bangkok, that also have challenges, Lagos’ poor drainage system is damaging its megacity-narrative which the state government is presenting to the world.
Quartz Africa reports that with the Lagos’ drainage system - mostly poorly planned and, in some places, non-existent - flooding has become a costly annual experience for residents of the metropolis.
The state government has continued to heap the blame on houses and office structures built without proper and legal city permits as well as poorly planned drainage systems.
The government has further cited the residents’ poor waste disposal habits as another reason for the repeated flood as most of the streets are littered with waste which often ends up blocking street drainages and causing a flood.
The Lagos flood is no respecter of social class. From Lagos Island, a major business district, to highbrow Victoria Island, Ikoyi, and Lekki, floods have been a recurring problem.
Even with the paved roads in these areas, the streets get flooded no thanks to shallow, dirt-littered street gutters, which are sometimes blocked.
In the last incident in July 2017, some of the worst-hit areas include most expensive residential and commercial real estate in neighborhoods like Victoria Island and Lekki.
In a report by Vanguard in 2017, the incumbent governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode reeled out his administration’s plans to battle flood in the city.
He said there was more urgent need to embark upon a review and re-engineering of the canals and drainage systems in the state.
According to Ambode, this must be pursued hand in hand with a clear and crystal re-envisioning of the water management system.
“For the past few days, the state and indeed most parts of Nigeria, have witnessed torrential rainfall which is quite unprecedented.
“We have witnessed our most prime estates flooded with water; we have seen our roads taken over by floods, and we have painfully watched how many homesteads have literally become pools.
“These indeed are trying times for any government, especially our own administration, which has determinedly pursued massive infrastructural development, to improve standards of living of our citizenry,” Ambode said.
The governor further said that his administration would be stronger in enforcing physical planning laws, especially those building illegally on canals and blocking the free-flow of water across the state.
Ambode also said his administration would reinvigorate its campaign against the dumping of refuse by citizens into canals.
However, so far, it looks like nothing as changed, as the flood that plagued Lagos last year is repeating its feat in 2018.