Lagos Chronicles

When It Rains, It Floods

I woke up on Wednesday morning at about 4.30 am to the sound of the wind blowing against the windows, warning of the impending rain and in no time at all, it had started to rain. Now, the clouds had gathered the previous day on my way back from work and I had prayed that I would get home before the rain started because I was tired and I didn’t want to have to deal with the rain as well plus I had my laptop with me and it would have just been a very messy situation. So, the rain that was supposed to fall that Tuesday night decided to fall the next day and it was bloody.

Here I was standing in the middle of the room, an hour later, already dressed up and ready to head out but the rain wouldn’t let me. It was beating ferociously against the roof, the windows were shaking and I could hardly hear myself think. Let me put this in perspective for you; I stay on the island, temporarily if I might add, and it has been raining consistently in the past week and you know what happens when it rains consistently in Lekki? Yep, you guessed that right, flood!

lekki-flood-in-lagos-4
Swimming gear, anyone!

Water everywhere. For the past one week, the roads have been flooded and thanks to this amazing neighbour, I have been escaping the regular morning swimming exercises. But on this Wednesday, he was sick and he wasn’t going to work. Ah! Imagine how I felt that morning. I was so confused. How was I going to get out with this heavy rain? I looked outside and the water level had risen. I waited to see if the rain would subside but no such luck. It rained all day and I stayed indoors because really, I cannot come and go and kill myself away. I just relayed my predicament to my boss and thankfully, he understood.

Apparently, this is a common problem with the islanders and has become the butt of so many jokes judging from this hilarious tweet that was all over twitter. This problem is largely due to the poor drainage system. For example, in the estate where I stay, I realized that the gutters were shallow, some streets didn’t even have gutters. So it rains and where the road should be becomes a large pool of water, and for the (un)lucky ones, the pool is right inside your compound. Your very own private, indoor pool! How fantastic.

The people that live in this estate can actually afford to fix this problem if they all come together and work it out. We cannot keep waiting for the government because we would be waiting a really long time. It is in situations like this that we need to take matters into our own hands for our own safety. God forbid you wake up one day to realize you are floating away on water and then, it might be too late.

A popular quote from John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech in 1961 is rather instructive on this: “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country”. Selah.

 

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