FLOOD CONTROL AND MANAGEMENT
Nigeria Meteorological Agency says the country’s climate has witnessed significant spatial and temporal changes with extreme weather and climate conditions with ocean surges and floods becoming more regular. Similarly, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency issued an alert to Nigerians of imminent increased flooding in September. The body warned, saying over 74 local government areas in 30 states will experience severe flooding I June, August and September 2019.
However, not long after the warning, over 300 houses, schools, farmlands were destroyed by torrential rainfall in Yobe state. Students were directed to vacate the campus after the incident. The flood disaster killed four under-graduates on campus. Recently, a director of FCT High Court got missing after flood submerged his vehicle. It was the second fold within the area in a month.
- In July 2012, flood killed 363 peopleand displaced over 2.1 million people. It was the worst ever.
- In 2013, less than one million were affected by flooding, while 38 people lost their lives. 160 people were displaced.
- In 2015, over 53 people died in 11 states from that displaced more than 100,000 people.
- In 2016, 92,000 were displaced, 38 people lost their lives
- In 2017, flood affected 250,000 people
- In 2018, 70 people lost their lives and over 327,000 were affected
Flooding Timelines in August 2019
August 1: Rainstorms and flooding affected parts of Adamawa State in northeastern Nigeria. News reports reveal that seven people died and dozens of houses were damaged in the city of Yola, the Adamawa state capital.
August 2: Heavy rainfall affected central areas of the country's capital. Local media reports that a government official died when his car was swept away by flood waters in the city. Further heavy rain has fallen since, worsening the flood situation in the city with several roads blocked and buildings damaged.
August 3: Reports indicate that officials in Kaduna state called for residents living close to the Kaduna river and other flood-prone areas to evacuate the area due to threats of flooding.
Ibrahim Farinloye adds to the conversation by revealing that major factors that contribute to flooding is climate change. If it is gradual rainfall the communities will be better able to cope but once the rain falls incessantly, the communities would not be able to contain the rain.
Agharese says she totally agrees with Farinloye as our “climate is changing and we are seeing the effect of climate change all around us. Initially, when we hear about climate change we thought it was something foreign. But now we are seeing the effect. The increase in rainfall, flooding, and other things are affecting us. So what can we actually do? As the climate is changing, are we changing our strategies? Are we putting things in place to prevent the increased rainfalls?
“For example, Lagos as a coastal area, what are doing to prevent flooding? Also, when we have heavy rainfall, the drains are filled up. Are we up to task by clearing the drains constantly? Are we avoiding building on canals? Are we controlling or managing our waste effectively? Our plastic bottles, cans, and other trash we generate; are we ensuring that they are not on flood plains? If they are out of the drains, when heavy rain falls, it flows into the drains without obstruction. Without that flow, there will definitely be flooding. And as we are in a coastal area, we certainly will be affected.
We need to be vigilant and to create awareness just as Nigeria Info is doing today. We need to put in on social media, go to the communities and educate them on climate change. Going to the grassroots level can really work progress that will reduce flooding,” says Agharese.
Achike expands the discussion by saying we in Nigeria are facing the consequences of some other people’s behavior. He mentions that the effort toward solving the flooding issue is a global one. “That is why everybody should work together,” Achike says.
“The reality is that the greatest pollutants of our environment are the greatest destroyers of the Ozone layer which also has had implications in that aspect of the climate when you talk about what is happening in the Antarctic regions where huge icebergs are melting and adding to the rise in sea level. These are the activities of the biggest countries of the world. So when you look at the climate change issues and the pollution of our environment, third world countries have very little to do with it but we don’t have to use that as an excuse.
The reality again is asking what we teach the kids. Everybody everywhere has to be involved in this. We need to do much more because the consequences can be dire because our technology has a long way to go. Yet, the practices of our people does not help and governments are also not doing what they can when it comes to implementing the policies on which we can utilize to battle flooding and environmental pollution.
How can Nigerians better tackle the issue of flooding in the country? What are the steps one could take to mitigate flood occurrences in the country? Check out Agharese’s suggested solutions to mitigating flood in a coastal area such as Lagos.
Watch the program below and you are also welcome to add your comments below here.
1. Agharese Ojelede - World Safety Organisation.
2. Achike Chude - Policy and Development Expert
3. Ibrahim Farinloye - Spokesman National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
#MorningCrossfire with @SheriffQuadry
Written by Jude Chukwuemeka