Study Says Rainfall Caused More Lagos Erosion Than Heat

A longstanding theory claiming that erosion in Lagos and other Nigerian cities is primarily caused by climate change is to be tested in a new study that analyzed soil erosion since 2007.

Researchers from the Cleveland Institute of Technology and the University of Calgary mapped the spread of land loss in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, over the last decade and found it was largely due to encroaching land use.

“The area of land lost because of settlement and development increased from 0.26 square kilometers (0.11 square miles) in 2005 to 2.13 square kilometers (0.94 square miles) in 2017,” the report said.

While previous studies have blamed the destruction of the forest for the erosion, the Cleveland report suggests the most likely explanation is human activity.

“Growth in land use and interaction between the communities, natural and built infrastructure has affected individual landscape aspects including the prevalence of land erosion, land fill, aquifer pumping, soil management and land subsidence.”

Erosion has left parts of the lagoon rim underwater. Locals in coastal cities across Africa have long complained about the effects of climate change.

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