The comercial capital of Nigeria was flooded following heavy rainfall that left many displaced [AFP]

Torrential downpours have triggered flooding in southern Nigeria this week which have killed at least 29 people.

The flooding has been described as "the most devastating so far this year in Nigeria". Worst hit is Lagos where at least 20 people have died so far. Lagos is Nigeria’s largest city with a population of 15 million. It is overcrowded with many people living in flimsily built slums, many of which are low-lying and prone to flooding.

In fact, just one day of heavy rain is often enough to leave Nigeria’s streets barely passable. This recent spell of heavy downpours has inevitably caused flash flooding right across much of the south.

The rain began on Sunday morning and has continued to fall ever since, turning roads into rivers and forcing many people from their homes. The poor drainage system has exacerbated the problem; the water is knee high in many places and there is more to come over the next few days.

President Goodluck Jonathon has called for a comprehensive review of the Erosion and Flood Control Policy but the problem will get worse before it gets better.

Flooding occurs every rainy season in Nigeria and emergency officials have already warned that this year’s rains are particularly intense. The rainy season runs from April to September and this year's rains are expected to be heavier than last year's, which displaced around 500,000 people nationwide.

Meanwhile, it is cruelly ironic to know that the other side of the continent is suffering its worst drought in over 60 years.

 

Source: Al Jazeera