It's raining, it's pouring and Abidjan is flooding...
It's rainy season in Abidjan, and I am soooo glad I have my rain-boots and large umbrella.
Unfortunately, they can't protect me from the
. The thing is, in Abidjan, when it rains, it pours "Noah and the Ark" style, sometimes for 24 hours straight. Combine that with a local government that hasn't cleaned out the ditches that are supposed to catch the excess water, and corrupt planning officials who let developers obstruct drainage systems, and you end up with a murky swimming pool instead of roads when it rains.
I instagrammed a pic of what part of my harrowing taxi ride to work looked like this morning (the widget is on the left side of the screen) and the pic below is the view from my friend's window on Boulevard de Marseille...
Here are a couple of things I wish I'd known
- Zone 4 floods in the rainy season. It doesn't flood as badly as parts of Riviera i.e. your car won't be swept away, and people don't die on this side of town, but it can get pretty bad. The main affected roads are the alley that takes you to Hayat (the alley that leads to Rue Lumière), many of the streets off of Rue Mercedes (aka Rue Pierre et Marie Curie), including Rue Marconi, Rue Fleming and Rue Docteur Calmette. If you're off of Boulevard de Marseille, near the Wafou, you'll be stuck, unless you're in a SUV with high clearance.
- Y'a pas route Taxi drivers don't like to go to places that are flooded. This means finding a ride in or out of your neighborhood can be an uphill battle. Case in point, I stood outside in the pouring rain for 15 minutes with taxi after taxi refusing to take me to Plateau.
- Now is the time to look for housing. After all, you know whether your future road will flood...
- Bad roads + murky pools of water = flat tires.
- Not having an SUV means having less control on your ability to navigate the city...
- If you have to go out, and the rain has caused flooding, leave while it's raining. The terrible visibility makes most people wait for the rain to end. Once it clears up a bit, you're sitting in flooded traffic Armageddon.
- If you have a car, make sure your insurance covers water damage that can happen when your car is parked, and water damage caused by driving in deep water.
But hey, malaria and flooding aside, it's not all bad. The weather is cooler. And there aren't as many mosquitoes as you would think there would be.