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Global Environmental Change

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Climatic changes -- Research, Adaptation, Cities -- Migration


Climate change poses threats to individuals, communities, and cities globally. Global conversations and scholarly debates have explored ways people adapt to the impacts of climate change including through migration and relocation. This study uses Lagos, Nigeria as a case study to examine the relationship between flooding events, migration intentions as a preferred adaptation, and the destination choices for affected residents. The study draws on a mixed-methods approach which involved a survey of 352 residents and semi-structured interviews with 21 residents. We use a capability approach to analyze mobility decisions following major or repetitive flood events. We found that the majority of affected residents are willing to migrate but the ability to do so is constrained by economic, social, and political factors leading to involuntary immobility. Furthermore, intra-city relocation is preferred to migration to other states in Nigeria or internationally. These findings challenge popular Global South-North migration narratives. Indeed, some residents welcome government-supported relocation plans but others remain skeptical due to lack of trust. Community-based relocation may therefore be preferred by some Lagosians. Overall, this study contributes a nuanced understanding of mobility intentions in response to climate-induced flooding in one of the world’s largest coastal cities.


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