In the huge coastal city of Lagos, Nigeria, rising seas and more extreme storms put millions of people at risk of flooding.
“And so I was expecting that people would want to move, especially when I was talking to young people,” says Susan Ekoh of the German Institute of Development and Sustainability.
While a graduate student at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, she surveyed about 350 Lagos residents.
She asked about their experiences with flooding and if they’d consider moving in response to the threat.
More than two-thirds said they’re willing to relocate.
But most of those who said they’d consider moving did not want to leave Lagos. Many have family, friends, and jobs there.
“Over half of the people who I surveyed, they expressed intentions to relocate within the city,” Ekoh says.
She says there are lots of news stories about how climate change will increase migration to the U.S. and Europe.
But her research indicates that many people, if given a choice, would prefer to move to safer areas nearby.
So she says it’s important for cities to work to prevent flooding — and to support people who need to move but want to stay close to home.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media