Monday, January 24

Nigeria has a flood challenge

One of the most frequent natural disasters in Nigeria is perennial floods. Some states they are experiencing more and more annual floods during the rainy season.

Increasingly, a link is being established between increased flood incidence and climate change.

Unlike some natural disasters, rain floods can reviewed with proper planning and provision of the necessary infrastructure. Nigeria’s floods are mainly human induced with poor urban planning practices and inadequate environmental infrastructure as contributing factors.

In 2012, Nigeria experienced its worst flood recorded in recent history. Total losses they were estimated at $ 16.9 billion.

The extent and nature of the floods in Nigeria are such that the actual figures for displacement, losses and deaths cannot really be determined due to poor records and reports.

But floods threaten sustainability because they negatively affect the economy, health, social life and the environment. Floods threaten Nigeria to achieve the global sustainable development goals.

Me recent article highlights why. As part of me PhD research, I study floods in the context of sustainable development, environmental justice and flood risk management.

the sustainable development goals they are global goals to achieve human and environmental development by 2030. Of the 17 development goals, nine are directly affected by floods. These include the eradication of poverty and hunger, as well as the provision of clean water and sanitation.

In the case of Nigeria, the floods have had a major impact on the country’s development goals in relation to social, economic and environmental goals.

Causes of floods in Nigeria

Nigeria’s floods are primarily man-made and exacerbated by interactions between man and nature. Poor or nonexistent drainage systems they are one of the main causes of floods.

Many residential areas do not have a drainage system and rely on natural drainage channels. Increased urbanization also means that more areas are built with concrete and cannot absorb water, increasing runoff.

Poor waste management is another recognized factor. The citizens’ poor attitude to waste disposal and the failure to provide waste disposal services by municipal authorities contributes to flooding. It is not uncommon to have drains blocked by garbage in urban areas.

Other factors are unregulated urban sprawl: Nigeria is experiencing high urbanization rates without adequate provision of urban infrastructure and services. Agricultural land is increasingly being converted into residential areas to accommodate housing needs.

But there is lax implementation planning laws. One consequence of this is that there have been construction projects on natural floodplains and stormwater trails. This has exacerbated the floods.

Corruption is also a factor. It is not rare for city planning officials to take bribes and overlook problems. These may include unauthorized land use and alteration of approved building plans.

Some citizens also take advantage of the loophole of ineffective development control and spread their buildings over approved areas. Sometimes they go as far as building over drains.

What to do

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari Recently he blamed the floods for increasing food insecurity in the country.

But what is lacking is adequate action to mitigate the floods. Currently, there is no flood management policy in Nigeria. The lack of relevant policy and legal frameworks is an indication of the low importance given to flood control and management in Nigeria.

Integrating flood risk management with spatial planning is the way to go.

Historically, Nigeria has focused more on responding to floods after a disaster than on control. Reducing and addressing exposure to flood risk is now a national priority in the Nigerian government disaster risk management agenda.

However, nothing concrete has been achieved. This is not encouraging despite the wide post-disaster needs assessment carried out in 2012 by the federal government with international collaboration.

This raises questions about the political will to achieve this goal.

The government does not lack research institutions and agencies with the skills to design a flood risk management strategy. For example, him National Emergency Management Agency It has a planning department that uses a geographic information system to work with flood data. Still, there is no effective national early warning system for floods in federal, state, and local governments.

the Nigerian Meteorological Agencymeanwhile, it provides seasonal rainfall predictions, but communication remains a problem. There is a lack of integration and coordination between existing government agencies that sometimes carry out flood control projects without linking with each other.

Sustainable urban planning and green infrastructure could also be combined with information and communication technology tools. Citizens can use them to communicate with the relevant authorities at the start of a flood.

Tackling Nigeria’s perennial floods is important for the country to move forward. The causes of man-made floods must be urgently addressed. Failure to do this will delay your path to sustainable development.The conversation

Adaku Jane Echendu, Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, Queen’s University, Ontario

This article is republished from The conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the Original article.

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