It’s the rainy season in Nigeria, and while many are thankful for the relief from the heat, those in flood-prone areas face a different challenge. 

I asked six Nigerians to share their worst flooding experiences and let’s just say the government and citizens need to maintain drainage systems better.

John*

I once experienced flooding at my workplace on Lagos Island. We operated from the owner’s family house in a residential area in Lekki. That day, I resumed work around 9 a.m., and it started to rain about thirty minutes later. It was initially a light shower, so no one in the office thought about a possible flood. However, after five hours of continuous rain, my boss told the office assistant to monitor the entrance as water was trickling in. Shortly after, she returned, saying, “Oga, water dey enter house and I don mop am e no stop.”

My boss went to check, and the next couple of hours felt like a scene from a film. Water kept gushing uncontrollably from the main entrance. We spent hours moving equipment, furniture, documents, and electrical appliances to the upper floor where my boss resided. The rain didn’t stop even past closing time. I had to remove my shoes, roll up my trousers, and wade through the flood to get home.

Adekunle*

My family recently moved out of a nice apartment in Surulere because of constant flooding. We were always on edge whenever it rained, never knowing when the downpour would be heavy enough to flood the house. Some days, it rained without flood, but others were a nightmare. We had to move everything around the house and deal with damaged electrical appliances. Once, it rained while we had visitors. It was embarrassing watching them help us move things and scoop water. I’m glad we moved, especially now that it’s another rainy season.

Ireti*

I experienced The worst flooding in 2011 when we lived in a face-to-face bungalow. There was a heavy downpour; only my siblings and I were home. After more than four hours of rain, water started to trickle into the house. The landlord asked everyone to scoop water from the passage, but the rain only got heavier. We realised we couldn’t stop the flooding and started saving our belongings. I remember pulling the rug in our room and placing everything on top of the bed and wardrobe. My parents returned much later when the rain had subsided and most of the compound had drained. We narrated everything that happened, but since they didn’t experience it, they didn’t think much of it.

Busayo*

My hostel was flooded last month, and the experience was traumatic. I was on campus when I got a call from a local resident warning about the flood. I informed my roommates, but it was too late when we got to the hostel. The water had soaked my mattress, study materials, clothes, and everything on the floor of my room. The muddy water left a reddish mess everywhere. I spent the rest of the week washing, cleaning, and restoring my room. It happened again last week, but I was around and had more control this time. I’m definitely moving out by the next session.

Ibukun*

We were renovating the house, and the workers damaged a section of the ceiling. They covered it up and promised to fix it the next day. Unfortunately, it rained heavily overnight, and their makeshift cover couldn’t prevent the damage. I woke up in the middle of the night to pee and found the rug unusually wet. I turned on the light to see water everywhere. I woke everyone up immediately. This was around 2 a.m., and it was still raining heavily. The tapes and planks the workers used to cover the ceiling had fallen off. We mopped and cleaned until around 6 a.m. My mum must have blown up the workers’ phones with calls because they were at our house by 7 a.m. to fix the damage.

Bimbo*

My house once got flooded, but it wasn’t due to rain. We hadn’t had light for days, and since the water wasn’t running, I left the taps in the kitchen and bathroom open. I returned from work one night to find water all over the passage. The water was coming from my entrance. Everything on the floor — rug, mattress, extension box, bags with documents, stabiliser—was soaked inside. I ran to close the taps, but for a while, I didn’t know what to do. I just sat looking at the mess. When I finally started mopping, the light went out. I went to my parents’ house and didn’t return until the weekend with help. Now, I triple-check the taps before leaving.

Read this next: The Zikoko Guide To Surviving The Rainy Season

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