FLOOD HAZARD MAPPING AND RISK MANAGEMENT IN PARTS OF LAGOS STATE
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The prevalence of flooding within Nigeria which has been generally attributed to climate change and poor urban planning is an issue of critical importance within the context of national development. Over the period 1985 to 2014, flooding in Nigeria has affected more than 11 million lives with a total of 1100 deaths and property damage exceeding US$17 billion. Although more frequent floods are recorded in Niger, Adamawa, Oyo, Kano and Jigawa states possibly due to the influence of rivers Niger, Benue, Ogun and Hadeja, Lagos state seems to have experienced most of the floods in the country. With rapid population growth and urbanization in the country the risk of flooding to human lives and properties assumes critical dimensions. Critically, poor awareness of the hazard is a major impasse towards its management. This creates a significant gap in the knowledge of how to improve on the current efforts towards addressing the challenges of flooding in Nigeria. Since attempts to tackle the hazard appear to be limited, the present study is driven by the need to identify those limitations in the flood management efforts in Lagos State.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The rate of flooding occurrence in recent times has been unprecedented. With 70 million people globally exposed to flooding every year, and more than 800 million living in flood prone areas, climate change with more frequent and severe rainfall events, sea level rise, rapid population growth and urbanization, the rate of development on floodplains, the level of awareness of flood risk and the ineffectiveness of efforts towards tackling flooding in many places are factors of concern within the global context.
Flood hazard is one the most devastating and frequently occurring natural hazards in the world. Impacts of flood disaster on the society and its effect on sustainable development are overwhelming in recent years. The increasing climate change, accompanied with excessive rainfalls and its devastating consequences remain indelible in the lives of many people and the environment. Over the years and in almost every part of the world, excessive rainfalls due to climate change have resulted in flooding, which has claimed lives and properties. These unpalatable experiences have placed many countries, on hold in their struggle for development. As the world’s population increase at an alarming rate with increase in infrastructural development on the rise, more lives and properties are becoming vulnerable to the risk of flood hazards whenever extreme events occur (Dutta et al., 2013; Herath and Wang, 2009; James and Hall, 1986). The devastating effects are recorded in terms of mortality and economic risk by both national and international agencies. Although research claims that the mortality rate is reducing globally due to the established early warning systems in some countries (mostly the developed), but in some localities, especially in the developing and under developed countries, those living in the coastal areas, increasing deaths are witnessed because of their level of exposures and vulnerability. In Nigeria, flood accounts for the highest occurring natural hazards, with great consequences on the life and property (Aderogba, 2012).
Flood is an overflow of water that covered the land surfaces that are normally dry. This includes overflow from water bodies like river, lake, sea and also overflow as a result of heavy rainfall, snow melt and/or dam break resulting in some of that water to escape out of its natural boundaries (Leinster, 2009). It is a natural event that occurs on the land surface which can affect people and the environment negatively or even positively. “Among all kinds of natural hazards of the world: flood is probably the most devastating, widespread and most frequent” (Sanyal, 2004 P.383). Flood vulnerability is defined as “probability of flood occurrences and its potential consequences” (Alexander 2011, p.6). So, flood vulnerability mapping is the presentation or representation of areas that are at risk of flood events on maps.
Flood vulnerability mapping is very important for an appropriate urban planning to reduce the likelihood of flood occurrence and also reduce the consequences of flood disaster when it happen (Kaoje 2016).
Flood is the most common occurring natural disaster that affects humans and their surrounding environment (Leinster, 2009). This natural disaster is common in Nigeria, it has been occurring in almost every raining season. According to Nigerian National Emergency
Management Agency (NEMA), in 2012 alone about 1.3 million Nigerians have been displaced and 431 have died from various floods occurrences. In that same year 30 of 36
Nigeria’s states were affected by the floods (IRIN 2012). A lot of physical damages were recorded, including destruction of houses and farmlands. Economic life was halted, people displaced and some lost their lives. It is understood that flood is a hazard that can be avoided or minimize not only by building more dams or constructing more flood defence systems but also by the use of modern technologies and appropriate urban planning that provide information on flood risk areas (Cinque, et al 2003). The GIS application have gained a wide acceptability as (Atkinson 2008) noted that based on the legal system in the USA, GIS is currently been seen in favourable light when the topic appears in litigation. Alexander et al
(2011) supported the argument that “mapping has become the keystone for flood risk management and communication in representing spatial relationships between hazard and vulnerability and resulting risk”.
Devastating flood events in Nigeria can be dated back to 1963 in Ibadan city, when Ogunpa River was over-flown causing loss of lives and property; these hazardous events reoccurred in 1978, 1980 and 2011, with estimated damages and deaths of over 30 billion naira and 100 people respectively, thus making Ogunpa River nationally and internationally famous (Adegbola and Jolayemi, 2012; Agbola et al., 2012). Between 2011 and 2012 alone, Lagos state recorded at least 8 major floods with more than 30 people deaths and many damages to properties (Editor, 2012; Komolafe et al., 2014). The worst but recent of all the flood events that caused a huge devastation across the geopolitical zones in the country was the July, 2012 event. The flood (the worst since 40years), which occurred in at least 33 states out of the 36 states of the country as a result of a very heavy rainfalls that caused a lot of damages both to lives and properties (UNCHA, 2012). According to EM-DAT: International Disaster Database on Nigeria disaster, in 2012 alone, about 7,000, 867 lives were affected by the widely spread flood while 363 and $500,000 deaths and economic damages respectively were recorded (Guha-Sapir et al., 2013).
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is argued that whilst this statement recognizes flooding situation in Nigeria and the relevance of flood data for flood risk reduction, it laments the dearth of flood data for the country and the peculiar challenges that arise from utilizing commercial flood modelling codes to simulate such data. Moreover, the fact that Nigeria is one of the most populated countries of the world with population size estimated at over 170 million people compounds the situation. The theory that future population growth will drive future flood risk highlights the importance of urgency in finding means of preparing human population in the country to adapt to floods. It will be a welcome development for Nigeria to implement flood modelling since within European Union framework, such a technique is operationalized towards flood hazard/risk mapping of the constituting States. Recent floods and consequences in Lagos State is becoming too frequent and threat to sustainable development in human settlements.
Despite the attention flooding received in many other studies, still the question: “what is the remedy to the recurrent flooding in Nigeria?” remains unanswered. The lack of flood data and other ancillary data which is a major setback towards containing the threats of flooding in the country were raised but not addressed.
It is against this background that this study aims at assessing the flood hazard mapping and risk management in parts of Lagos State.
- OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
In pursuance of the purpose of this study, the researcher considers the following specific objectives:
- To investigate and summarize evidence of flooding in Lagos State and to critically review efforts towards addressing its threats in the state.
- To identify knowledge gaps relevant to the reduction of flood risk in Lagos State.
- To present flood risk management as a way-forward towards pro-active flood hazards in Nigeria.
- To make supported recommendations towards building flood resilient communities.
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: the present flood disaster in Lagos State does not affect the residents from the urban region of the state.
H1: the present flood disaster in Lagos State does affect the residents from the urban region of the state.
H0: there is no evidence of heavy flood hazard in most cities in Lagos State.
H2: there is an evidence of heavy flood hazard in most cities in Lagos State.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of this nature is so relevance to the entire residence in the study area, the general public and town planners. Professionally the findings of this study will be of immense support to land surveyors in Lagos State. Specifically this study will be valuable to environmental agencies like Nigeria Metrological Agency (NIMET), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Nigerian Ministry of Environment to provide strategic management aimed at improving ways to reduce or mitigate flood disasters in Nigeria. Academically, this research will add knowledge to the students from estate management, also it will serve as a source material for future research by providing insights on related areas that a researcher can thus build on.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study centres on the devastating unprecedented flood disaster ravaged many states in Nigeria, especially Lagos State.
In the cause of the study, the researcher encounters some limitations which limited the scope of the study;
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also another hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to long hands in several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Disaster: This is collapse of series of social function of a nation which causes the loss of human lives, materials, economy and environmental components.
Flood: This is the accumulation of abnormal large volume of water which has refused to flow away, causing damage to the environment, human, aquatic lives, and properties.
Flood hazard: Flood hazard mapping is an exercise to define those coastal areas which are at risk of flooding under extreme conditions. As such, its primary objective is to reduce the impact of coastal flooding. However, mapping of erosion risk areas may serve to achieve erosion risk reduction.
Risk: Risk is the potential of gaining or losing something of value. Values (such as physical health, social status, emotional well-being, or financial wealth) can be gained or lost when taking risk resulting from a given action or inaction, foreseen or unforeseen. Risk can also be defined as the intentional interaction with uncertainty. Uncertainty is a potential, unpredictable, and uncontrollable outcome; risk is a consequence of action taken in spite of uncertainty.
Risk management: Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risk management’s objective is to assure uncertainty does not deflect the endeavor from the business goals.
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