Climate change: Homes are sinking into the sea in Nigeria

Mureni Sanni Alakija took out a loan to build a new house after his swept away by an ocean surge in 2011. But when the tide reaches Okun Alfa, a neighborhood in Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, that is also no longer secure.

A result of experts’ prediction that sea levels will rise due to climate change, hundreds of other homeowners have watched helplessly as tidal surges consume their houses. This week, government representatives will gather in Rwanda for the Commonwealth of Nations summit to examine the situation of locals and other concerns.

A United Nations climate panel stated in February that although Africa has made very little contribution to the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, its citizens are among the most vulnerable to the effects of the planet’s warming.

With the desert encroaching on its northern pastures, rainfall eroding farmland in its eastern Niger Delta, and the Atlantic Ocean flooding its southern coast, Africa’s most populous country, which stretches from the southern edge of the Sahara to the Gulf of Guinea, is at risk of a triple attack from climate change.

According to the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, more than 20 million people are at risk of flooding in Bayelsa, Delta, and Lagos, which is spread out over creeks and lagoons and perilously near to sea level.

Mureni’s family moved to a safer area of Lagos a decade ago, but he is still reluctant to leave his ancestral home. But as more land is lost to the water, he claims it may only be a matter of time until he loses this house as well.

“We are so terrified that we don’t sleep with two eyes open (closed). We are out here watching at two in the morning and three in the morning. Nobody knows when the surge may strike and take someone with it “explained Mureni.

Leaders adopted an action plan to safeguard seas from the dangers of climate change, among other issues, during the most recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018.

A new fund to aid communities like Okun Alfa in coping with climate change will also be unveiled, according to Jeff Ardron, a Commonwealth secretariat expert on ocean governance, who said the summit will assess progress made since 2018.

“These communities may count on assistance in developing environmentally friendly defenses against the water. At CHOGM, addressing the ocean and climate change is a top focus, “In Kigali, he spoke to media.

Some of the homes in Okun Alfa are so battered by the tides that they can hardly stand. Others have been totally absorbed by the water.

Local resident Aliba Mohammed lost his home and relocated to what he believed to be a safe distance from the coast, but water tracked him to his door.

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