Floodingin Nigeria Floodis one repeated environmental natural disaster in Nigeria. Sada (1988) defines flooding as an unusual outpour which causes theland beside a stream to overflow, this happenscommonly due to an extended duration of heavy rainfall. A great risk surfaces with the occurrence of flood with significant effects on communities in riverine areas. It is “a natural consequence of stream flow in a continuallychanging environment” (Nelson 2001).
Flooding affects all facets of both human and the natural environment. Research has it that; flooding is a very disastrousevent Affecting most areas globally as it isperceived to be a result of bad governance. The most catastrophic flood in Nigeria in 40years occurred in 2012, affecting 32 states out of the 36 state, the impact was severely felt in 24 states (NEMA 2013). Flooding in Nigeria is caused byprolonged and intense downpour together with the abusive human interaction with the environment.
Ayoade and Akintola (1981)investigated flooding by studying how people perceivethe phenomenon and howdifferent regions in the country has adjusts to the devastating effects of flood. In their study, a great focus was given to howindividuals perceive the spatiotemporalscale of the event of flood as an evidence of the function of land use types onflood plains. It should be noted that each occurrenceof flood differs, some builds up gradually with signs,while others like flash flood occurs with no sign of downpour. Although flood is a naturaloccurrence, it often leads to disasters as a result of human-createdvulnerability, which is a consequence of human-environment interactions” (Ayoade and Akintola1981). “Climatechange with more frequent and severe rainfall events, sea rise level, rapid population growth andurbanization, the rate of development on floodplains, the level of awareness of flood risk and the ineffectiveness of effortsin tackling flood in many places are all factorscontributing to flood” Raaijmakers. R, Krywkow.J and Van der Veen A.,(2008) Nigeria is a very large country withproblems of overpopulation, overexploitaion of mineral resources, illegal and other factors enhancing flood in the region has been identified byAgbonkhese, O.
et al. (2013) as ” dumping of refuse on drainage channels tochannel adjustment and poor drainage conditions”. Consequences of flood in Nigeria. The frequency and consequences of flooding in Nigeriahas been an issue of great concern.”Unfortunately, the impact is more feltby the urban poor in such a way that recovery is unlikely to be achievedwithout external aid” (Blaikie,1994). Flood is very devastating and affects both human and natural environment.
The following are impacts of flood in Nigeria. · The human impacts includes; displacement ofpeople from their homes as can be seen in the picture below; Flooded houses in Nigeria Source: Google images. · Since rivers and streams are majorsources of water supply in some areas in Nigeria, flooding can lead tocontamination of the fresh water which serves for drinking purposes and other household usethereby posing serious health issues such as diarrhea, cholera and even skininfections. · According to UN-Water (2011), the number of death tolls byflood has been on the increase worldwide. This isevident in Nigeria as almost all occurrence of floodrecords death tolls.
“urban flood is seen to have caused about half of disastersworldwide and 84% disaster deaths in the world was attributed to flooding”. · Flood destroys large area farmland with food and cashcrops and disrupt economic activities. A flooded farmland in Nigeria Source: Google images. A flooded street in Nigeria. Source: Google images. · Flood destroys bridges, electricity poles and buildings.· Animals are not exempted from the effects of flood,Devastating floods like the ones that happen in Nigeria lead to the dead ofanimals. Flood as an environmental change can also cause other type of environmentalchange · Soil leaching: When water percolates down the soil, itwashes down the nutrients that are dissolved leaving the soil infertile.
Leaching occurs when the amount of water in the soil is more than the amount ofwater evaporating from the soil. When excessive rainfall lead to flood, this in turn result in leaching. One important mineral needed in the soil for plants tosurvive is Nitrogen, leaching therefore is a significant problem as it causesthe loss of soil nitrogen.
Leaching alsocause soil acidification and deposit toxic substancesin the soil. Like in the picture below, when floodoccur, the accumulated water does not dry up immediately, thereby causing thesoil nutrient to seep downward. Leaching is an environmental change that isvery devastating to agricultural practice in Nigeriaand other places where flood occurs in the world. Example of aflooded land in Nigeria Source: Google images. Equity/fairness Issues Nigeria as acountry in Africa is experiencing the negative impacts of climate change,with its effects reaching millions ofpeople economically, socially and environmentally(Medugu2009).
A projection 50% fall in Africa’scrop production by the year 2050( Bello et al 2012)as a result of change in climate as agricultural activities largely depend onrainfall which now has an irregular pattern (Jone and Thornton 2003). 70% ofNigerian population are involved in Agriculture, about 90% of this activity need rain for theproduce to yield well(Adejuwon 2005). From the above, it is very glaring whereNigeria’s agriculture is heading to in the nearest future due to climatechange. Although Nigeria is a country rich in oil, Agriculture is still themajor source of occupation for majority of herpopulation. Farmlands are being destroyed by flood and cattles are dying indevastating flood, economic activities gets disrupted during the hazardousflood. With all these in place, coupled with the fact that most citizens do notheed to flood warning, it is possible for developmentin most regions that are prone to flood will retard in development as mosttimes, the impacts of flood last for long in theseregions. Flood Coping mechanism in Nigeria · Various disastermanagement agencies in Nigeria should be vigilant as this would help to project occurrence ofdisastrous events like flood.
· Early warningshould be issued to the people living in flood plains.· The generalcommunities in areas that are prone to flood should heed to warning.· The governmentof the country should organize campaigns and seminar about flood awaereness.· Human activitiesthat causes that causes stress on river banks should be minimized The vulnerable country Although these are various environmentalchange discussed for Alaska and Nigeria.
Considering the nature of bothcountries, Nigeria being a developing country with bad governance, corruptionand lawlessness will be more vulnerable to flood andany other climate than Alaska coping with Permafrostthawing. Alaska is in a developed country, technologically, they are way moreadvanced than Nigeria and are better equipped to manage disasters resultingfrom environmental change.