Globally, a rapid change in climate has influenced the intensity of natural hazards such as storms, fire outbreaks; floods among others. These environmental events have had damaging effects on infrastructure, ecosystems and human health. These crises are fuelled by anthropogenic activities that have increased carbon dioxide emissions and consequently atmospheric concentrations. This concentration had led to high temperature and humidity increase thereby reducing the durability and sustainability of concrete, steel and timber structures in etc.
According to National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate change for Nigeria (2011) reported that huge losses caused by climate change in Nigeria was estimated between N15 trillion (US$100billion) and N69 Trillion (US$ 460 billion) with observable impacts felt on all sectors. Unfortunately, the south east region, Anambra State to be precise is responsible for over 65%-75% of these estimated losses. However, in the south east region of Nigeria, federal government have not provided enough funds towards infrastructural assistance yearly and had opted to partner with the Global North in accordance with Paris Agreement (2015). This partnership will provide quick and strategic intervention that should include shared commitment to the future, authentic partnering, equity; responsiveness in cases of inequalities should be initiated especially in the communities within Anambra East and West, Anambra, Ayamelum among others.
Consequently, civil engineering has a role to play in the application of adaptation tools that should involve risk estimates, cost and benefits of climate adaptation strategies. Further, an assessment at any point in time makes climate adaptation economically viable. Also, the use of Stochastic methods in modeling infrastructural performance, risk reduction, effectiveness of adaptation strategies, exposure and costs is propagated by civil engineering. The civil Engineers’ role also involves the enhancement of design standard, strengthening of existing structures, utilization of new materials and changes to inspection, optimization strategies in river basin infrastructures, and maintenance regimes. The Civil Engineers have design philosophy which is emerging and referred to as adaptive design. Adaptive design will enable Engineers to change or add to parts of the infrastructural design without re-doing whole design. Engineers can use variability to introduce adequate margins of safety to ensure that the risk is at an acceptable level using design codes or correlations. Although we have to utilize information from the past, we also have to rely on climate data to give us: the future projections, interactions and performances among the different variables under various climate and natural conflicting factors/conditions using simulations and stochastic models like the Markovian decision theory among others.
Civil Engineers have been able to model future climate impacts and measures to ameliorate losses in the design of the ecosystems infrastructure such as in the cases of the river basin projects which involve planning and management of the following developmental projects: Irrigated agriculture, Water supply, Hydropower development, Flood control, Erosion control, Drainages, Navigation/Water transportation, Recreation/Tourism, Gullies, Vegetation/Forestry etc. The named River basin/Watershed infrastructural social-economic developments will bring about objectives such as: inclusion, equity and diversity, environmental protection, federal, regional, state and local government redistribution, youth employment, gender equality, security and social wellbeing of the people in communities in the conflict and disaster regions.