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On the front line of climate change: Five cities battling floods, heat and storms

By Mairi Mackay, George Webster and Teo Kermeliotis
updated 9:29 AM EDT, Fri June 15, 2012
Sea-level rise
Slums at risk
Population explosion
DIY and public awareness
Lagos:
Engulfed by floods

In July 2011, torrential rainfall and flooding devastated Lagos. Floodwater turned roads into rivers, burst sewers and destroyed homes. At least 20 people were killed, hundreds displaced and the city's economy was crippled.

City stats

CITY
POPULATION
11.7 million

GROSS DOMESTIC
PRODUCT
$30 Billion

GREENHOUSE GAS
EMISSIONS/CAPITA
2.3 METRIC TONS (EST)

EXTREME WEATHER
THREAT
FLOODS

Source: World Bank and CDP Cities

Sea-level rising

Projection based on future scenario of rapid, fossil-fuel intensive economic growth.

Source: UNIDO


Impact on slum dwellers

For the two thirds of Lagos's population that live in the city's slums, floods are a fact of life, just like a lack of clean running water.

When it floods, foul water containing sewage runs into slum homes, sometimes reaching waist height. Slum dwellers say they repeatedly visit health centers because of sickness after floods, spending scant money on healthcare. A huge proportion say floods deny them job opportunities or affect their livelihoods.



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