Effect of Flooding and the Solution in Nigeria

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Flooding is one of the major environmental crises

one has to contend of within the century. This is

especially the case in most wetlands of the world. The

reason of this is the general rise in sea level globally,

due to global warming as well as the saturated nature of

the wetlands in the Niger Delta. Periodic floods occur

on many rivers, forming a surrounding region known as

flood plain. Rivers overflow for reasons like excess

rainfall. The good thing about river overflows is the fact

that as flood waters flow into the banks, sand, silt and

debris are deposited into the surrounding land. After the

river water subsided and go back to its normal flow, the

deposited materials will help make the land richer or

more fertile. The organic materials and minerals

deposited by the river water keep the soil fertile and

productive (Abowei and Sikoki, 2005).

During times of rain or snow, some of the water is

retained in ponds or soil. Some is absorbed by grass and

vegetation, some evaporates and rest travels over the

land as surface runoff. Flood occurs when ponds, lakes,

riverbeds, soil and vegetation cannot absorb all the

water. Water the runs off the land in quantities that

cannot be carried within stream channels or retained in

natural ponds, lakes and manmade reservoirs. About

30% of all precipitation becomes runoff and that

amount might be increased by water from melting

snow. A flood that raises rapidly, with little or no

relatively small area, or if, the area was already

saturated from previous precipitation (Henry, 2006).

During flooding water supplies that result in

contamination of water (water pollution). Clean

drinking water becomes scarce. Unhygienic conditions

and Spread of water-borne diseases result. People,

buildings, infrastructure, agriculture, open recreational

space and the natural world. In extreme cases flooding

may cause a loss of life. Torrential rains pushed rivers

over their banks, collapsed mud houses and washed

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Flooding is an overflowing or irruption of a great body of water over land not usually submerged (Oxford English Dictionary). It is an extreme weather event naturally caused by rising global temperature which results in heavy downpour, thermal expansion of the ocean and glacier melt, which in turn result in rise in sea level, thereby causing salt water to inundate coastal lands. Flooding is the most common of all environmental hazards and it regularly claims over 20,000 lives per year and adversely affects around 75 million people world-wide (Smith, 1996). Across the globe, floods have posed tremendous danger to people's lives and properties. Floods cause about one third of all deaths, one third of all injuries and one third of all damage from natural disasters (Askew, 1999). In Nigeria, the pattern is similar with the rest of world. Flooding in various parts of Nigeria have forced millions of people from their homes, destroyed businesses, polluted water resources and increased the risk of diseases (Baiye, 1988; Akinyemi, 1990; Nwaubani, 1991; Edward-Adebiyi, 1997).

Whereas flooding itself is a situation that results when land that is usually dry is covered with water of a river overflowing or heavy rain, flooding occurs naturally on the flood plains which are prone to disaster. It occurs when water in the river overflows its banks, or sometimes results from a constructed dam. It happens without warning but with a surprise package that always delivers to unprepared community like the ones in Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, just to mention a few. It has not only left several people homeless, destroyed properties and disrupted business activities, the floods ravaging communities bordering Ogun and Lagos States are...
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