Impact of Recent re-occurring Flooding Cases in Anambra State, Nigeria

BY

1. Ifeanyichukwu U. Onyenanu (PhD) and 2. Prof. Luke Eme
Dept. of Mechanical Engr. (Design option).
Dept. of Civil Engr.

(Water Resources & Env. Engr. Option)

COOU

  1. Petrucci, 2012, defined natural disasters as direct, indirect, and intangible losses inflicted on the environment and society by natural phenomena. The human environment has been plagued by numerous natural disasters that have caused serious damage and loss to the entire world. They are atmospheric, hydrological, or geological in nature and include earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, erosion, landslides, tsunamis, desertification, volcanic eruptions, and more. These natural phenomena cannot be prevented in most cases, but the impact on people and the environment can be reduced by appropriate measures. Measures can be minimized on the spot.
    The flood itself has devastated Nigerian communities and states. Most recently, Nigeria’s Office for Emergency Management (NEMA) has identified 12 states along the Niger and Benue rivers as the most affected by flood disasters. They include: Benue, Kogi, Niger, Kwara, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Adamawa, Kwara, Kebbi, King Crab. The main types of floods include river floods, coastal floods, flash floods, groundwater floods and canal floods (Ukela, 2020).
    As a result, Anambra, one of the most flood-prone states due to its proximity to the Niger River and other bodies of water, is located in the southeastern part of Nigeria with 21 municipalities and 4,844KM2. According to the Anambra Office for Emergency Management (ASEMA), flood-prone areas of Anambra include Anambra West, Anambra East, Auka North, Ihiara, Auka South, Ekushigo and Ogbal Local Governments (PremiumTimes Nigeria,). 2018). However, river floods are the most common type of flood in Anambra, where the river ruptures or floods the embankment and floods the surrounding area. River floods are usually caused by prolonged heavy rains.
    Flood disasters in Anambra have plagued people since 2012. It is important to note that floods continue to occur in these areas, albeit in a calm manner. Therefore, given that climate change continues despite measures such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and planting trees, preventing even more catastrophic floods in these areas is a major concern. Finally, the purpose of this article is to explain and provide a solution to the impact of recent recurring floods in Anambra, Nigeria.

Recent Cases of Flooding in Anambra State Nigeria.
On the 20th of September 2020, it was reported that residents of houses in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state were attacked by reptiles in their various houses as a result of flooding, this flooding was caused when one of the tributaries of River Niger in the area overflew its banks. The flooding which submerged the whole area drove out reptiles and other animals from their hideouts. These animals attacked the residents of the area, nevertheless the casualties weren’t much but properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. The residents were eventually forced out of their homes in search of safe havens (The Guardian, 2020).

On the 17th of September 2019, at least one person lost his life in the capital city of Awka, several cars and houses submerged in flood as a result of a torrential rainfall that kept pouring down for hours. The flooding was attributed to drainage channels that has been blocked by waste materials, these materials at the instance of the flooding littered the whole environment. The said flooding disrupted business and economic activities in the state capital. In Amawbia community of Anambra State, approximately four hundred primary school leavers were disengaged from the school premises was cut by the flood (Chukindi, 2019).

Similarly on the 15th of Oct, 2020 it was reported that 34000 people have displaced in six local governments in Anambra state as a result of flooding as disclosed by the director of Anambra State Emergency Management Agency Mr. Chukwudi Onyejekwe (Olufunmilola Olukomaiya, 2020). In Anambra State of the south Eastern, Nigeria, three local Government Areas, namely; Anambra East, Anambra West and Ogbaru were fully flooded. Similarly, Awka North, Anyamelum and Ihiala were not flooded as the previous locality mentioned. Anambra Government was proactive for provision of camps and transportation of affected persons.
On the 18th of August 2021, Ogidi and its environs were submerged in flood, The flood, which submerged old Awka Road in the Ogidi axis, residential buildings and threatened the palace of the Igwe of Ogidi, Chief Alex Onyido, and the traditional prime minister of the community, Chief Ifeanyi Udokwu, it was gathered that the administration of Governor Peter Obi embarked upon rehabilitation of old Onitsha-Awka Road and the construction company channelled the floodwater from other communities like Umunnnachi, Umudioka and Aforigwe down to the area. The idea was to pipe it down to the nearby river but the project was left uncompleted. So, anytime rain falls, the entire area is over-flooded, including the major road which runs from Onitsha to Awka, the Head Quarter of the State. This reoccurring flooding of this area disrupts economic activities in the area and also in the state capital (Jeff Amechi Agbodo, 2021).

Proposed Strategies for curbing Anambra Flooding

Structural Control Approach
This is a management method that requires the construction or modification of existing structures to mitigate or eliminate floods and the resulting damage. This method is capital intensive and requires the construction of structures such as dams, levees, bridges and canals. There is an urgent need for dredging of the Niger River and its tributaries, which cross the various cities of the river basin of Anambra. Individual test measures are widely practiced in developed countries and can be implemented here as well. This method refers to situations where the flood is relatively small (nominally less than 700 mm). Floods may be kept away from home by installing sturdy fences, raising windows, sealing doors with “stopboards”, and limiting sewage pollution by backflow or backflow valves.

Non-Structural Approach
This protection does not require the construction of structures, but it also has widespread impact on flood protection. Non-structural management measures include asset surveys, land use planning management, construction and development management, catchment flood modeling, accurate early warning systems, and best-in-class forecasts from the Nigerian Metrology Department related to forecasting. Africans and people in these areas are superstitious, so if the threat of an imminent flood is predicted, a well-organized awareness campaign should be conducted at the religious center.

Imperative Control Approach
This management approach aims to harness the growth of the body of water for the benefit of the population and prevent the embankment from overflowing. Studies show that clean and stable water supplies are not available in some parts of the country. Highly efficient water can use these bodies of water to provide the water supply needed across the country. Most of the fertile land available in these areas can be irrigated with water from these bodies through long, well-maintained pipes, allowing farmers to grow crops year-round rather than seasonal farmers. can do. This has been reported several times that the cause of the flood is the drainage of the LAGDO Dam in northern Cameroon. Therefore, a dam needs to be built in Nigeria to contain this emission and thus improve the country’s electricity supply as such growth of industrialization, which will raise Nigeria’s GDP in general (Eme et al, 2019)

Impact of Flooding in Developing Areas of Anambra State
Irrespective of the menace of flooding on these coastal regions, there is still high level of development and Urbanization taking place. Unfortunately, urbanization reduces land space area available to drain the water that gathers whenever it rains, there is rather a confluence of houses both residential and industrial that pours down loads of water from their various roofing sheets without a well-defined drainage system, the existing drainage system are most times filled with both biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials from homes, business centers and industries causing severe blockage to these channels. Despite the challenges posed by flooding, which are exacerbated by urban development, urban planning and development does not take into account the vulnerability of the poor to floods. Community floods are so strongly associated with adequate infrastructure provision and environmental management (including land use management) that the vulnerabilities of the poor in cities are adequate for poor city management and government. It is very related to the inability to deal with high spending (Adelekan, 2010). In view of the fact that our land tenure system allows individuals to own and raise structures almost uncontrolled, it is therefore paramount that these areas for the sake of posterity should be given extra attention. Create a definitive master plan for these areas so that the public is forced to build according to the plan.

Conclusion
The effects of recent repeated floods in Anambra, Nigeria cannot be exaggerated given the rapid population and industrial growth (Eme, et al., 2019). From research, the impact of recent flooding cases has adverse effect on the socio-economic life of the populace in Anambra state especially those in the riverine areas. From reviews, it is quite clear that the issue of flooding in Anambra is seasonal. The control measures proffered in this writeup suggests methods to address this issue from three broad perspectives which includes: structural, non-structural and imperative methods. Finally, it is important to mention that the government of Anambra state has a big responsibility to make sure that flooding doesn’t reoccur in these regions.

 

 

 

References
Adelekan, I. O. (2010). Vulnerability of poor urban coastal communities to flooding in Lagos, Nigeria. Environment and Urbanization, 22(2), 433–450. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956247810380141
Chukindi, J. (2019, September 17). One killed, two escape death as flood ravages Anambra capital. Daily Post Nigeria. https://dailypost.ng/2019/09/17/one-killed-two-escape-death-flood-ravages-anambra-capital/
Eme, L. C., & Ohaji, E. (2019). Simulation modeling using Markovian Decision theory in co-managing the competitive Anambra and Imo River basin. Water Practice and Technology, 14(2), 319-324.
Eme, L. C., Ulasi, J. A., Alade Tunde, A. I., & Odunze, A. C. (2019). Hydrokinetic turbines for power generation in Nigerian river basins. Water Practice and Technology, 14(1), 71-80.
Jeff Amechi Agbodo. (2021, August 18). Flood ravages Anambra community. The Sun Nigeria. https://www.sunnewsonline.com/flood-ravages-anambra-community/
Olufunmilola Olukomaiya. (2020, October). Flood sacks Anambra communities, displaces 34,000 people—P.M. News. https://pmnewsnigeria.com/2020/10/15/flood-sacks-anambra-communities-displaces-34000-people/
Petrucci, O. (2012). The Impact of Natural Disasters: Simplified Procedures and Open Problems. https://doi.org/10.5772/29147
PremiumTimesNigeria, S. 2018. (2018, September). Anambra establishes 28 camp centres in flood prone areas. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/ssouth-east/283108-anambra-establishes-28-camp-centres-in-flood-prone-areas.html
The Guardian. (2020, September 20). Flood: Reptiles invade homes in Anambra community. The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News. https://guardian.ng/news/flood-reptiles-invade-homes-in-anambra-community/
Ukela. (2020, October). Flooding—Types of Flooding.http://www.environmentlaw.org.uk/ rte.asp?id=100