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CAA warns Lagos, and others of flood risk

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Uneven rain periods and higher sea levels put coastal metropolises at risk.

Grace Mbah, the co-founder and Executive Director of Climate Action Africa, has warned that coastal cities such as Lagos are at risk of flooding as sea levels rise. She emphasised that Nigeria is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of a changing climate, including floods, rising sea levels, droughts, and ecological disturbances. The changes threaten Nigeria’s environment, economic progress, social advancement, and general welfare. Nigeria’s rainy periods have shifted, putting coastal metropolises such as Lagos at risk of flooding from higher sea levels.

Rising sea levels caused by global warming are contaminating freshwater sources and threatening coastal ecosystems, as well as causing erosion that destroys infrastructure and displaces populations. In Lagos State alone, it is projected that if global warming surpasses 2°C, there will be a 90cm sea level rise by 2100. Nigeria is also facing challenges such as frequent and intense heat waves, deforestation, overgrazing, and extreme weather events that are leading to land degradation due to climate change.

Climate finance is needed to curb the detrimental effects.

Implementing mitigation and adaptation projects can address Nigeria’s climate change challenges. This includes the development of renewable energy sources, reducing emissions, and establishing resilient infrastructure to enhance community resilience. One effective solution to Nigeria’s climate change issues is the provision of climate finance. Climate finance involves obtaining financial support from various sources, including public, private, and alternative funds at the local, national, and transnational levels. This funding is intended to assist in reducing the impact of climate change through mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Mbah emphasised the importance of climate finance in assisting countries like Nigeria in their efforts to address climate change. She highlighted how it offers essential funding for implementing mitigation and adaptation plans, ultimately enhancing environmental protection and strengthening resilience against climate-related challenges. Mbah highlighted the potential for the country to shift towards sustainable energy sources such as solar and wind power through strategic use of climate finance. This shift would decrease dependence on fossil fuels and lead to a lower output of greenhouse gas emissions.

Nigeria may face up to 30% GDP loss due to climate change by 2050.

It is crucial to allocate funds to fortify infrastructure to endure severe weather conditions, create climate-resistant crop types, and enhance early warning systems. Assistance for implementing sustainable farming methods that boost food security and decrease deforestation is also attainable. Nigeria’s current climate financing situation is worrying, with about $1.9bn received annually, significantly less than the projected $17.7 billion needed to achieve its NDC goals by 2030. This financial shortfall means there are insufficient funds available for essential climate projects

Mbah pointed out the alarming outcomes of not taking action. Research conducted by the Department for International Development shows that Nigeria may face a loss of GDP ranging from 6% to 30% due to climate change by 2050. This combination of economic pressure, environmental damage, and social unrest has the potential to significantly unsettle the country. The co-founder of CAA emphasised the importance of a collaborative effort from different sectors to address the climate finance gap. Involving stakeholders is crucial for tackling the existential threat of climate change. With sufficient climate finance, Nigeria has the potential to create a sustainable and resilient future.

Related Article: Negligent dredging cause flooding in Lekki

Lastly, she emphasised the need for collaboration among the government, private sector, and international community to protect Nigeria’s environment and ensure a bright and sustainable future for its people through proactive measures and creative strategies. In anticipation of the 2024 rainy season, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has promised to minimise the effects of flooding in Nigeria. By providing early warning alerts based on seasonal climate predictions and educating the public on preventive measures, the agency aims to prevent the negative consequences of floods and related dangers.

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