is one repeated environmental natural disaster in Nigeria. Sada (1988) defines flooding as an unusual outpour which causes the
land beside a stream to overflow, this happens
commonly 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 continually
changing environment” (Nelson 2001). Flooding affects all facets of both human and the natural environment. Research has it that; flooding is a very disastrous
Affecting most areas globally as it is
perceived to be a result of bad governance. The most catastrophic flood in Nigeria in 40
years 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 by
prolonged and intense downpour together with the abusive human interaction with the environment. Ayoade and Akintola (1981)
investigated flooding by studying how people perceive
the phenomenon and how
different regions in the country has adjusts
to the devastating effects of flood. In their study, a great focus was given to how
individuals perceive the spatiotemporal
scale of the event of flood as an evidence of the function of land use types on
flood plains. It should be noted that each occurrence
of flood differs, some builds up gradually with signs,
while others like flash flood occurs with no sign of downpour. Although flood is a natural
occurrence, it often leads to disasters as a result of human-created
vulnerability, which is a consequence of human-environment interactions” (Ayoade and Akintola1981). “Climate
change with more frequent and severe rainfall events, sea rise level, rapid population growth and
urbanization, the rate of development on flood
plains, the level of awareness of flood risk and the ineffectiveness of efforts
in tackling flood in many places are all factors
contributing to flood” Raaijmakers. R, Krywkow.
J and Van der Veen A.,(2008)
Nigeria is a very large country with
problems of overpopulation, overexploitaion of mineral resources, illegal and other factors enhancing flood in the region has been identified by
Agbonkhese, O. et al. (2013) as ” dumping of refuse on drainage channels to
channel adjustment and poor drainage conditions”.
Consequences of flood in Nigeria.
The frequency and consequences of flooding in Nigeria
has been an issue of great concern.
“Unfortunately, the impact is more felt
by the urban poor in such a way that recovery is unlikely to be achieved
without 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 of
people from their homes as can be seen in the picture below;
Flooded houses in Nigeria
Source: Google images.
Since rivers and streams are major
sources of water supply in some areas in Nigeria, flooding can lead to
contamination of the fresh water which serves for drinking purposes and other household use
thereby posing serious health issues such as diarrhea, cholera and even skin
According to UN-Water (2011), the number of death tolls by
flood has been on the increase worldwide. This is
evident in Nigeria as almost all occurrence of flood
records death tolls.”urban flood is seen to have caused about half of disasters
worldwide and 84% disaster deaths in the world was attributed to flooding”.
large area farmland with food and cash
crops 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 of
Flood as an environmental change can also cause other type of environmental
Soil leaching: When water percolates down the soil, it
washes 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 of
water 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 to
survive is Nitrogen, leaching therefore is a significant problem as it causes
the loss of soil nitrogen. Leaching also
cause soil acidification and deposit toxic substances
in the soil. Like in the picture below, when flood
occur, the accumulated water does not dry up immediately, thereby causing the
soil nutrient to seep downward. Leaching is an environmental change that is
very devastating to agricultural practice in Nigeria
and other places where flood occurs in the world.
Example of a
flooded land in Nigeria
Source: Google images.
Nigeria as a
country in Africa is experiencing the negative impacts of climate change,
with its effects reaching millions of
people economically, socially and environmentally(Medugu
2009).A projection 50% fall in Africa’s
crop production by the year 2050( Bello et al 2012)
as a result of change in climate as agricultural activities largely depend on
rainfall which now has an irregular pattern (Jone and Thornton 2003). 70% of
Nigerian population are involved in Agriculture, about 90% of this activity need rain for the
produce to yield well(Adejuwon 2005). From the above, it is very glaring where
Nigeria’s agriculture is heading to in the nearest future due to climate
change. Although Nigeria is a country rich in oil, Agriculture is still the
major source of occupation for majority of her
population. Farmlands are being destroyed by flood and cattles are dying in
devastating flood, economic activities gets disrupted during the hazardous
flood. With all these in place, coupled with the fact that most citizens do not
heed to flood warning, it is possible for development
in most regions that are prone to flood will retard in development as most
times, the impacts of flood last for long in these
Flood Coping mechanism in Nigeria
management agencies in Nigeria should be vigilant as this would help to project occurrence of
disastrous events like flood.
should be issued to the people living in flood plains.
communities in areas that are prone to flood should heed to warning.
of the country should organize campaigns and seminar about flood awaereness.
that causes that causes stress on river banks should be minimized
The vulnerable country
Although these are various environmental
change discussed for Alaska and Nigeria. Considering the nature of both
countries, Nigeria being a developing country with bad governance, corruption
and lawlessness will be more vulnerable to flood and
any other climate than Alaska coping with Permafrost
thawing. Alaska is in a developed country, technologically, they are way more
advanced than Nigeria and are better equipped to manage disasters resulting
from environmental change.