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A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw - Politics - Nairaland

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A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by LRNZH(m): 9:25pm On Mar 19

The Ogun river flooding the banks near a livestock market in Lagos, Nigeria. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

The key to understanding Lagos, Africa’s most populous city, is in the water.

From the sea Lagos rose, from humble port city to economic and political powerhouse and sprawling home to around 22 million. It’s the water that the city is named for—“Lagos,” from the Portuguese word for lakes. Many of the poor, who make up 70% of the city’s population, live in floating shanty slums in the city’s lagoons.

It’s also the sea that has been responsible for Lagos slowly sinking. Lagos consists of a mainland and a series of islands, which make it especially susceptible to rising sea levels. It is this proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, combined with risks from climate change, that pose the largest environmental threat to the megalopolis.


Lagos is composed of a series of islands and peninsulas.

And since 2008, it is to the sea that an ambitious development company has looked for an unorthodox fix to the problems that plague Lagos including joblessness and housing shortages: a brand new city, built on land clawed back from the bottom the ocean floor.

Eko Atlantic is the name of a grandiose project to create a new economic capital for Africa—notably, right next to the current economic capital for Africa. The development includes everything from sky-scrapers to luxury apartments, a new financial district, a private power-grid, and a shopping boulevard in the image of New York’s Fifth Avenue. It’s the brainchild of the Chagoury brothers, two Nigerian-born billionaires of Lebanese descent who own South Energyx Nigeria Ltd, a real estate development company created to build out Eko Atlantic.

Eko Atlantic is meant to be an antidote to Lagos’s deepest recession in 30 years. The city is meant to bring 250,000 new jobs and address a housing shortage brought on by a surging population. This, and the fact that it’s privately-funded, have lent it the support of the state and federal governments. It’s being sold to investors as “a valuable foothold in Africa” one of the world’s last emerging growth markets.

But what makes Eko Atlantic’s development especially noteworthy is its location. The planned city borders Lagos directly. Eko Atlantic was built by dredging up and filling in 9 kilometers (about 5.6 miles) worth of land. Before the project began in 2008, the peninsula was non-existent.

The result is that Eko Atlantic has the appearance of being an island created out of thin air. Satellite imagery highlights just how dramatic an effect the construction — which is far from finished — has had on Lagos’ coast.


Satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe.


Photo courtesy of Eko Atlantic

Lagos’ location leaves it deeply susceptible to rising sea levels and catastrophic storm surges. In 2012, a storm surge in the exact area of Eko Atlantic’s construction killed 16 people. In the aftermath of the tragedy (which some blamed on disturbances caused by Eko Atlantic’s building) the developers of the project highlighted the fabrication of “The Great Wall of Lagos”, a sea wall that wraps around the city and protects it from the effects of the surrounding Atlantic.

But according to some climate scientists, the same wall that will protect Eko Atlantic could worsen the situation for neighboring areas not protected by it, which includes much of Lagos. Dr. Alan Blumberg, renowned for his research and the effects of climate change on water structures, highlighted the challenges in a phone call.

“What happens when you build a wall is that the approaching storm surge will come up to the wall, and it will move to the left or right of the wall, searching for a weakness or a low spot. If there are two islands close to each other, it may go to the island next door instead.”


The construction of “The Great Wall of Lagos.” (Eko Atlantic)

There were no responses to requests for comment from the team behind Eko Atlantic. But for Lagos, a city composed of a series of islands, the situation Blumberg describes could be disastrous. Lagos’ surrounding areas are not only unprotected by the wall, but are lower in sea level than Eko Atlantic. It’s a combination that leaves the old city of Lagos and its hundreds of years of history startlingly vulnerable.

If the critics are correct, Eko Atlantic might provide parts of Lagos with yet another link to the sea, one rooted in potential danger and unknowable risk. To the sea parts of the city may return.

“With sea walls, you have to figure out what you’re protecting against,” Dr. Blumberg advised. In the case of Lagos and Eko Atlantic, the better question might be who gets the protection.

http://qz.com/923142/two-billionaire-brothers-unorthodox-plan-to-save-one-of-africas-largest-economies-has-a-fatal-design-flaw/

9 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by hahn(m): 9:34pm On Mar 19
INteresting

I always wondered why they didn't consider developing Lagos, like fixing the drainage system, instead of this project.

But what do I know? undecided

33 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by DrDeji20(m): 10:04pm On Mar 19
following
Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by LRNZH(m): 10:04pm On Mar 19
hahn:
INteresting
[b]
I always wondered why they didn't consider developing Lagos, like fixing the drainage system, instead of this project.

But what do I know? undecided

While I commend the Lagos State Government for having the initiative to take on massive projects like this, it was obvious to me that the Eko Atlantic project had a fatal flaw.

We in Africa are not ripe for reclaiming an ocean. Not even cities like New Orleans that are around sea level take on sea reclamation projects. The Dutch who excel at this are world masters in marine engineering.

Another venturesome thing in Lagos is the sandfilling of the Lagoon for housing projects like Orange Island, etc.
Water is being drained through these areas that we humans are now distorting without understanding the long term impact.

Lagos should have focused on completing the 4th Mainland Bridge and on how to build a new set of cities on land in areas that will be connected by the new bridge instead of trying to dominate its waters.


Cc: Lalasticlala; Mynd44

93 Likes 8 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by hahn(m): 10:11pm On Mar 19
LRNZH:


While I commend the Lagos State Government for having the initiative to take on massive projects like this, it was obvious to me that the Eko Atlantic project had a fatal flaw.

We in Africa are not ripe for reclaiming an ocean. Not even cities like New Orleans that are around sea level take on sea reclamation projects. The Dutch who excel at this are world master's in marine engineering.

Another venturesome thing in Lagos is the sandfilling of the Lagoon for housing projects like Orange Island, etc.
Water is being drained through these areas that we humans are now distorting without understanding the long term impact.

Lagos should have focused on completing the 4th Mainland Bridge and on how to build a new set of cities in the land areas that will be connected by the new bridge instead of trying to dominate it's waters.


Cc: Lalasticlala; Mynd44

I just feel they should concentrate on fixing what we have already though

undecided

28 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Amberon: 10:26pm On Mar 19
When will Africans learn? The westerners didn't get to where they are today by outpacing their shadows.

Nigeria is not deficient in land. Instead of reclaiming land from the ocean why not channel that time/energy/resources into proper drainage and development of the already inhabited areas? Now look at the potential damage well meaning citizens are being predisposed to.

Well, all the best for eko Atlantic.

42 Likes 3 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by hahn(m): 10:28pm On Mar 19
Amberon:
When will Africans learn? The westerners didn't get to where they are today by outpacing their shadows.

Nigeria is not deficient in land. Instead of reclaiming land from the ocean why not channel that time/energy/resources into proper drainage and development of the already inhabited areas? Now look at the potential damage well meaning citizens are being predisposed to.

Well, all the best for eko Atlantic.

Exactly my thoughts

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by theSpark(m): 10:40pm On Mar 19
Let's just hope there's no serious ocean surge anytime soon to test it.

There's no human structure that doesn't have an impact on the environment however we should not just go ahead with those that are just too dangerous for the sake of greed and money.

3 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by tman14(m): 10:52pm On Mar 19
I kept saying Eko Altantic was a wrong thought project. The slums will pay for building the city (just as Trump said)

13 Likes 2 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Ogene001: 11:15pm On Mar 19
why must people live on top of each other in a tiny land called Lagos, why cant other states be helped with the necessary federal infrastructure to decongest Lagos

29 Likes 2 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Blue3k(m): 11:34pm On Mar 19
Ogene001:
why must people live on top of each other in a tiny land called Lagos, why cant other states be helped with the necessary federal infrastructure to decongest Lagos

Jobs and opportunities is only reason. Once those factors are there for other part of nation people will migrate.

10 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by PapaBrowne(m): 11:37pm On Mar 19
LRNZH:


While I commend the Lagos State Government for having the initiative to take on massive projects like this, it was obvious to me that the Eko Atlantic project had a fatal flaw.

We in Africa are not ripe for reclaiming an ocean. Not even cities like New Orleans that are around sea level take on sea reclamation projects. The Dutch who excel at this are world masters in marine engineering.

Another venturesome thing in Lagos is the sandfilling of the Lagoon for housing projects like Orange Island, etc.
Water is being drained through these areas that we humans are now distorting without understanding the long term impact.

Lagos should have focused on completing the 4th Mainland Bridge and on how to build a new set of cities on land in areas that will be connected by the new bridge instead of trying to dominate its waters.


Cc: Lalasticlala; Mynd44

This is an entirely private development. Run by private money, not public money. So your notion that "Lagos"should have focused elsewhere doesn't cut it as Lagos is not focused on Eko Atlantic. Chaugory & his Southern Energyxteam are the ines focused on It.

60 Likes 3 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by DeKen: 12:54am On Mar 20
I would prefer to be optimistic. I love this project and I believe it's being handled by professionals/experts.
At worst, govt (which is a stakeholder in this) would be compelled to build a wall to protect the other islands if they are threatened.

13 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by davidif: 12:56am On Mar 20
hahn:
INteresting

I always wondered why they didn't consider developing Lagos, like fixing the drainage system, instead of this project.

But what do I know? undecided

Abeg tell them o. This is an example of 'artificial development.'

3 Likes 2 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by davidif: 12:58am On Mar 20
DeKen:
I would prefer to be optimistic. I love this project and I believe it's being handled by professionals/experts.
At worst, govt (which is a stakeholder in this) would be compelled to build a wall to protect the other islands if they are threatened.


Hahaha you truly don't know much about oceanography do you? Nature always prevails in the end.

http://www.nairaland.com/479070/lagos-sinking#6385159

17 Likes 2 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by LRNZH(m): 2:44am On Mar 20
PapaBrowne:


This is an entirely private development. Run by private money, not public money. So your notion that "Lagos"should have focused elsewhere doesn't cut it as Lagos is not focused on Eko Atlantic. Chaugory & his Southern Energyxteam are the ines focused on It.

This project would never have seen the light of the day if it was not deemed to fit into the state Government's vision (it is called a master-plan).

The government and the people of Lagos are stakeholders to any kind of project to be embarked on by anybody.

For you to assume that any private entity can just construct any structure of any kind (not to speak of a mega project like Eko Atlantic), without the approvals from the government exposes a certain ignorance of how city planning and development are handled.

31 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by davidif: 3:19am On Mar 20
LRNZH:

The Ogun river flooding the banks near a livestock market in Lagos, Nigeria. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)



From the sea Lagos rose, from humble port city to economic and political powerhouse and sprawling home to around 22 million. It’s the water that the city is named for—“Lagos,” from the Portuguese word for lakes. Many of the poor, who make up 70% of the city’s population, live in floating shanty slums in the city’s lagoons.

It’s also the sea that has been responsible for Lagos slowly sinking. Lagos consists of a mainland and a series of islands, which make it especially susceptible to rising sea levels. It is this proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, combined with risks from climate change, that pose the largest environmental threat to the megalopolis.


Lagos is composed of a series of islands and peninsulas.




Satellite imagery courtesy of Digital Globe.


Photo courtesy of Eko Atlantic

Lagos’ location leaves it deeply susceptible to rising sea levels and catastrophic storm surges. In 2012, a storm surge in the exact area of Eko Atlantic’s construction killed 16 people. In the aftermath of the tragedy (which some blamed on disturbances caused by Eko Atlantic’s building) the developers of the project highlighted the fabrication of “The Great Wall of Lagos”, a sea wall that wraps around the city and protects it from the effects of the surrounding Atlantic.

But according to some climate scientists, the same wall that will protect Eko Atlantic could worsen the situation for neighboring areas not protected by it, which includes much of Lagos. Dr. Alan Blumberg, renowned for his research and the effects of climate change on water structures, highlighted the challenges in a phone call.

“What happens when you build a wall is that the approaching storm surge will come up to the wall, and it will move to the left or right of the wall, searching for a weakness or a low spot. If there are two islands close to each other, it may go to the island next door instead.”


The construction of “The Great Wall of Lagos.” (Eko Atlantic)



http://qz.com/923142/two-billionaire-brothers-unorthodox-plan-to-save-one-of-africas-largest-economies-has-a-fatal-design-flaw/

Bros, I raised this issue on nairaland back in 2017 that Lagos was sinking but I guess it was not as important as D'Banj's new record or Omotola's new movie so it didn't make the front page. Too bad.

http://www.nairaland.com/479070/lagos-sinking#6385159

9 Likes 3 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Amberon: 6:40am On Mar 20
Exactly! There's something inherently wrong Nigeria and it's leaders. Is there nobody of vision who can bring up the initiative of decongesting Lagos by carrying out meaningful projects in other states?
Ogene001:
why must people live on top of each other in a tiny land called Lagos, why cant other states be helped with the necessary federal infrastructure to decongest Lagos

9 Likes 3 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Amberon: 6:42am On Mar 20
cant win a fight against the ocean.
DeKen:
I would prefer to be optimistic. I love this project and I believe it's being handled by professionals/experts.
At worst, govt (which is a stakeholder in this) would be compelled to build a wall to protect the other islands if they are threatened.

5 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Amberon: 6:44am On Mar 20
It was said at the opening ceremony of Rio Olympics last year. Lagos was among the four sinking cities mentioned.
davidif:


Bros, I raised this issue on nairaland back in 2017 that Lagos was sinking but I guess it was not as important as D'Banj's new record or Omotola's new movie so it didn't make the front page. Too bad.

http://www.nairaland.com/479070/lagos-sinking#6385159

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by nijabazaar: 7:25am On Mar 20
LRNZH:




Lagos should have focused on completing the 4th Mainland Bridge and on how to build a new set of cities on land in areas that will be connected by the new bridge instead of trying to dominate its waters.


Cc: Lalasticlala; Mynd44

building a new set of city in that Jampack Mainland will result to displacing a whole lotta people....especially the super lower incomes.

Would you like a situation like that?

and even if lagos does not build this wall, it will always be susceptible to floods once the ocean temperatures surge. there's really nothing the Lagos govt can do to avoid such an impending scenerio. Its like trying to prevent Venice from flooding

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by irynterri(f): 7:56am On Mar 20
for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, even the paracetamol we take has a negative reaction on our liver,when Dubai was building an artificial island in far back 1975 the world called them crazy and all sorts of names for doing such in a desert,but they had a vision and did not lose focus,now the world is trooping to the city,let Lagos gov. continue with the eko Atlantic and not lose focus before the problems will commence they would have gathered enough investors and money to tackle it, those 'analyst' complaining about the project will see themselves going there for excursion

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Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Xano(m): 8:09am On Mar 20
Interesting

With the continued adverse effect of climate, it would be increasingly expensive to build more sea walls manage the effects of ocean rise and several feet of ocean storm surges.
Netherlands are masters of land reclamation, but they know where the limits are.
Ocean currents along West Africa coastlines have in recent years increased in intensity.

2 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Basic123: 8:57am On Mar 20
pessimists everywhere.The same pessimists that will be trooping to dubai.

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by hahn(m): 9:18am On Mar 20
davidif:


Abeg tell them o. This is an example of 'artificial development.'

A classic example of putting the cart before the horse

1 Like

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Kennywills7(m): 11:00am On Mar 20
Lagos state government should continue the project and also put in place measures which can be used to avert any possible disaster that come from it

3 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Earth2Metahuman: 11:12am On Mar 20
hahn:

I just feel they should concentrate on fixing what we have already though
undecided
are u yoruba?

2 Likes

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Earth2Metahuman: 11:21am On Mar 20
Even if they are not building eko atlantic, lagos will continue to sink and will keep losing lands to ocean every year.

You talked about 4th mainland bridge, do you know how much in properties that's gonna cost lagos now imagine siting eko atlantic in let's say mainland?

Ocean will fight and humans will continue to fight back. We have been fighting against nature from inception, that's how our specie has been able to survive this long.

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by Man2utd: 11:39am On Mar 20
Ogene001:
why must people live on top of each other in a tiny land called Lagos, why cant other states be helped with the necessary federal infrastructure to decongest Lagos
Because the other states are vision less, especially ogun state who is not taking advantage of its proximity to lagos state. If the roads were in good shape and the hours you spend on the road is reduced, ogun state will see a surge in development and the government will become richer.

12 Likes 4 Shares

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by LRNZH(m): 11:54am On Mar 20
nijabazaar:


building a new set of city in that Jampack Mainland will result to displacing a whole lotta people....especially the super lower incomes.

Would you like a situation like that?

and even if lagos does not build this wall, it will always be susceptible to floods once the ocean temperatures surge. there's really nothing the Lagos govt can do to avoid such an impending scenerio. Its like trying to prevent Venice from flooding

When we say Mainland, we mean areas outside of the islands. From Epe adjoining to parts of Ikorodu are Mainland as well and they're not congested as you think.

Basic123:
pessimists everywhere.The same pessimists that will be trooping to dubai.

This is why Africa is still in the doldrums of underdevelopment. The project has gone far ahead already. Is it not beneficial to both the investors, the government and the people of Lagos to understand the potential impact of such "seascaping" and be prepared to tackle the flooding when the prediction happens?

Lalasticlala, you dey see these our people sef?

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by obailala(m): 12:10pm On Mar 20
Amberon:
When will Africans learn? The westerners didn't get to where they are today by outpacing their shadows.

Nigeria is not deficient in land. Instead of reclaiming land from the ocean why not channel that time/energy/resources into proper drainage and development of the already inhabited areas? Now look at the potential damage well meaning citizens are being predisposed to.

Well, all the best for eko Atlantic.
LRNZH:

This is why Africa is still in the doldrums of underdevelopment. The project has gone far ahead already. Is it not beneficial to both the investors, the government and the people of Lagos to understand the potential impact of such "seascaping" and be prepared to tackle the flooding when the prediction happens?

Lalasticlala, you dey see these our people sef?
The main purpose of Eko Atlantic was to prevent the ocean from swallowing the entire VI; a disaster which was rapidly unfolding prior to 2006. Eko Atlantic in itself is a barrier wall to prevent the ocean encroachment. I wouldn't know, but I'm sure I've read somewhere that the land being reclaimed today is previous land which was eroded by the ocean over the years because there wasn't a proper embankment; and with the current embankment put in place, it somehow gets to divert the ocean surge away from the city (as should have always been the case).

I'm not an expert but dont you think your concerns must have been exhaustively considered during the conceptual and detailed design phases of this project?... Would investors just sink billions of dollars without giving these things a thought?

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Re: A 5-Mile Island Built to Save Lagos’s Economy Has a Fatal Design Flaw by hahn(m): 12:16pm On Mar 20
Earth2Metahuman:
are u yoruba?

No. Born and raised in Lagos though

Why do you ask?

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