Photo does not show poultry killed in Lagos flooding, but by Bolivian floods in 2021

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Heavy rains caused parts of Lagos state in southwest Nigeria to flood on July 8, 2022. To illustrate the devastating effects of these rains, several social media accounts and blogs shared a photo showing poultry drowned by flooding. However, AFP Fact Check found that the picture was not from Lagos, but an old photo taken in Bolivia.

“Aftermath of Lagos flooding, someone's poultry in ruins,” claims a Facebook post published on July 10, 2022. The post includes a photo of what looks like a flooded commercial chicken facility and scores of birds overcome by high water.

A screenshot of the misleading Facebook post, taken on July 18, 2022

A YouTube account also used the picture, claiming that it was taken on a Lagos farm with more than 5,000 birds and that the poultry lost to the floods was worth “millions”. 

A screenshot of the YouTube video, taken on July 18, 2022

A news blog claimed the same picture showed 2,000 birds that were killed in Nigeria, without specifying when and where. 

Photo not from Lagos

AFP Fact Check conducted a reverse image search and found the photograph was first published online in April 2021 by several Bolivian news websites, including ATB Digital, Bolivian Daily and BoNews.  

The reports explained that the image was taken after heavy rains caused the Ichilo River to break its banks, flooding communities in Puerto Villarroel, central Bolivia.  

The same image has been misused several times.

A Facebook account previously claimed the incident happened in Kumasi, Ghana in June 2021 while another claimed that it took place in Lesotho in January 2022. 

Lagos is prone to flooding, especially after heavy rains. State officials said downpours were bound to cause floods due to the “coastal nature of the state".

An advisor to the Lagos state governor on drainage and water resources, Joe Igbokwe, also said that indiscriminate waste disposal and building on drainage channels by residents worsen the flooding. 

A screenshot of Joe Igbokwe's statement on Facebook, taken on July 18, 2022