COMMUNITIES and people in all parts of the world function within the natural environment and its limitations. One of such limitations is natural hazard that comes in many forms including flooding. It may result from natural causes or induced by man’s misuse of the environment. In the current year 2022, several parts of Nigeria have witnessed unprecedented flooding and its consequences in the destruction of lives and properties across the length and breadth of the nation. The flooding of 2022 in the country was massive and nationwide as virtually all the states in the country have their own horrible share in the destruction of lives and properties including farmlands.
AT the last count, 34 out of the 36 states of Nigeria were affected this year with Jigawa, Benue, Kogi, Bayelsa, Delta, Anambra, and Kano being among the worst-hit. This year’s flooding in Nigeria is said to be the worst in a decade as over 600 deaths have been recorded, while millions of persons were displaced. The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) revealed that increasing flooding across the country, have resulted in increasing the number of Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) from 3.4 million to about five million. In sum, flooding across the country has caused significant loss of lives, properties, and livelihoods. From the above, it is evident that 2022 flooding in Nigeria has resulted in monumental damage and destruction of lives and properties with other fearful and staggering negative consequences in the country.
THE flooding occurrence of 2022 is a warning signal of what might happen in the future; hence, the country should take necessary steps to curtail it as well as prevent future occurrence. It is therefore, concerted and proactive efforts and action plans to prevent future occurrences of the destructive effects across the length and breadth of the country.
THERE is the need to protect the nation’s natural environment necessary for governments to step up their efforts to mitigate effects of natural hazards of flooding. Action should be put in place to prevent flooding and where it occurs, response and mitigating plans as well as strategies to reduce its severity and destructive effects should be in place. Government at all levels must strictly enforce town planning regulations that forbid building houses along water courses, lowland areas, riverbanks and other ecologically sensitive areas. People should not build and occupy water courses and environments that are prone to flooding and other natural disasters.
INDISCRIMINATE dumping of refuse on drainage channels can block free flow of water resulting in flooding and therefore should be discouraged altogether. Like what obtains in other climes, individuals and corporate organisations need to embrace insurance of their properties especially in flood prone areas of the country. There is the need to identify areas prone to flooding that are not suitable for development and erection of concrete structures should not be permitted in such areas.
AGAIN, the Ondo state government need to take proactive action to ensure sea incursion is prevented in the coastal areas of the state especially in Ayetoro that has been subjected to incessant sea incursion and increased coastal flooding in recent years. There is also the need for government to prepare emergency response plans at national, state and local government levels to be able to handle flood and other natural disasters when they occur because they are sometimes bound to occur due to natural phenomenon and man’s action on the natural environment.
THE annual weather, climate and flood predictions by the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NiMet), Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NHSA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) should be taken serious by the government and the citizenry to safeguard lives and property. Every year, these bodies predict weather conditions and their consequences which must be keyed into and faithfully obeyed by the people and government to forestall incidences and severity of flooding when they occur.