Written by Staff Writer at CNN
The gulf of Lagos could be moving two meters (seven feet) inland within the next two decades. It’s about to reach an inflection point where waves that last century penetrated feet above the ground could sweep right through the heart of the city.
The tallest sea-level rise was recorded in May during Hurricane Florence , with scientists estimating that coastal flooding across America could rise 11 meters by 2100 — the equivalent of roughly seven stories tall. The damage caused during the 2018 hurricane season alone was estimated to be $300 billion in damages alone.
On Lagos Island, nature has grabbed the slums of Ijegun Lagos (“Stepping Stones,” a look at residents’ dreams of securing homes along the coast), where homes are now being swallowed by the waves.
A 75-year-old woman was lost in a wave as she was trying to help neighbors. Credit: LUCY NWAEGE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Credit: LUKE OPELL/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Its residents, a mostly Afro-influenced segment of Lagos’ 15 million population, have been waiting for decades for the city’s government to protect them. For them, it’s been an unbroken story of inaction and mistrust, mired in a cycle of promises that have never matched the reality of Lagos’s rapidly advancing waters.
It’s a national issue, too. In the United States, the pressure is mostly on state and local governments, including Washington. Congress has failed to pass any bill on climate change for the last seven years.