An Assessment Of The Effects Of Flooding On Residential Properties

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

An Assessment Of The Effects Of Flooding On Residential Properties


The study is aimed at examining the effects of flooding on residential properties in Calabar South Local government Area of Cross River State. The data needed for the study were obtained through the use of 250 questionnaires in four intensively flooded areas of the case study. However, the researcher also carried out physical observation the areas prone to flood and general discussions and interviews with the resident of these areas. Also both primary and secondary sources were used for data collection. This shows that flood has serious effects in residential properties and the residents in general. It then recommended that: all drainage systems within the study area must be cleared to ensure free flow of storm waters; the local planning authorities in the study area should ensure adequate sanctions for violators of building regulations as this will go a long way to curb the menace of flood in the affected areas.

Chapter One


1.1 Background Study

Disaster is the resultant effect of actualized hazard. Han (2012) defined a hazard as an activated threat to life, health, property or ecosystems. It involves something that could potentially be harmful. It is a phenomenon that can cause damage to life and property and destroy the economic, social and cultural life of people (Stone, 2009). Therefore, when a dormant hazard comes to fruition, it will cause physical damage or destruction, loss of life or drastic change to the environment and result in an incident, accident emergency event or disaster. Omojola (2009) also defined hazard as the climate‐induced stresses on the city and are identified through observed trends and projections derived from global climate models (GCMs) and regional downscaling. He further stated that extreme events affected by climate change include heat waves, droughts, inland floods, accelerated sea level rise, and floods for coastal cities. According to Turnbull, Herbert and Mothorpe (nd) all real estate is subject to natural disaster which ranges from tornado, flooding, earthquake, landslide amongst others and the effect ranges from minor inconvenience to complete devastation. Furthermore, unlike many other natural disasters, the risk of flooding can be measured and it varies systematically across locations within a particular area.

Flooding according to Odunuga, Oyebande and Omojola (2012) is a serious disaster in the world, which not only causes serious damage but disturbs normal life and working conditions. Moreover, several reports have shown that thousands of lives and property worth billions in monetary terms have been lost in various affected areas in Lagos, Nigeria (Emordi, 2012). Furthermore, according to World Health Organization (WHO) flooding accounts for 40% of all natural disasters worldwide. The main health impacts are deaths, injuries, waterborne disease and emotional trauma during the flood event itself, during the restoration process, or from knock-on effects brought about by damage to major infrastructure including displacement of populations. However, on average, the higher the water depth and the greater the flow velocity of a flood, the greater the damage to property (Gayelord, 2008).

The maintenance of property value is a key element in the sustainability of local properties (Bramley, Munro and Pawson, 2004). It is of importance not only to property owners and their agents, financiers and investors but also to local and national governments. If flooding leads to vacant and derelict property then local blight could ensue. A flood disaster can destroy decades of development gains in moments. People and buildings are often the most physically affected and needs more time to recover economically and psychologically (Lamond, 2008). The World Bank International Development Association (IDA) in its report of 2009 affirmed that impact of natural disasters in terms of fatalities and losses in economic growth is on the rise, and is more severe in developing countries. This situation will be exacerbated by the fact that natural disasters are expected to increase in frequency and severity due to climate change, increased urbanization and continued environmental degradation. Furthermore, a deep understanding of the full impacts of flooding is necessary in order to guide investors and implement flood management policies in the best interests of all (Green, Vanderveen, Wierstra and Penningrowsell, 1994) as disasters pose an increasing threat to development efforts.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

The year 2012 was unprecedented in the level of flooding that Nigeria experienced and several explanation have emerged as to the causes of such massive flooding that has cost Nigeria several lives, hundreds of millions of naira in property damages, and quantum destruction of live-stock and other means of livelihood. Coupled with these damages, many properties were displaced and inhabitants of the affected properties were exposed to high health risks and serious socio-economic damages. From the report of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in 2012, OXFAM and Nigeria Humanitarian report July 2013, 33 states out of 37 states of Nigeria including FCT, Abuja were affected by flooding where over 8 million people were seriously affected in terms of property loss and over 2.1 million people displaced. The report also confirmed that about 363 people were reported dead all over the country while over 256 local government and 3, 850 properties were submerged including properties in Calabar South Local Government Areas. Thousands of houses, household properties, infrastructures were destroyed and thousands of hectares of farmlands were submerged. The report also have it that over one million Nigerians may die due to the effects of this flooding before 2016 if no precautionary or proactive measures are not put in place.

Whittow (2003), described flooding as the commonest of natural hazards and in recent decades have accounted for no less than 64 per cent of all deaths tolls resulting from natural hazards. He also explained that this is the price that man-kind has to pay when attempting to compete with rivers for the uses of their floodplains or when building on vulnerable coastlines. Hence, Properties in Calabar South Local government areas and environs are one of the most affected by flood menace in terms of numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs), destructions to means of livelihoods, hundreds of millions of naira in property damages and disruption to Eco-Balance. It is quite worrisome that the Federal, State, Local government and NGOs has continued to deliver relief materials to flood victims year in year out without taking proper measures to study and mitigate the impact of this flood menace in the study area and in the country at large for the purpose of sustainable development.

1.3 Objectives of Study

  1. To determine the incidence of flood in Calabar South
  2. To determine the impact of flooding in the properties in Calabar South; and,
  3. To determine coping strategies for resilience adaptation to flooding incidents in the study area.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the incidence of flood in the study area
  2. What are the impacts of flood menace across the properties in Calabar South?
  3. What are the coping strategies for resilient adaptation to flooding incidents in the study area?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. Ho: There is no significant pattern of effects of flooding on the properties in Calabar South
  2. Ho: There is no significant difference between the impact of flooding across the properties in Calabar South.

1.8 Significance of the Study

This research study “assessment of the impact of flooding in the properties in Calabar South” focuses on determining the impact of flooding in the community study area which is yet to be investigated. Therefore, true impact of flooding in these properties will be determined as the outcome of the study is capable of enabling policy makers to come up with adequate measures towards mitigating the effects of flooding in the study area and in Nigeria as a whole. This will also aid in planning and help in decision making when addressing the issues relating to flood problems and its sustainability.

1.9 Scope of the Study

The study is specifically geared towards the assessment of impact of flooding in the properties in Calabar South, Cross River State. The study is restricted to the impacts (effects) associated with flood menace on houses, households’ properties, crops, population of the properties.

Chapter Five

Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher recommends possible solutions that would accommodate structural and non-structural measures to minimizing flood problems observed in the study area for sustainable development. Therefore, the following measures are recommended:

  1. There is need for repair and construction of new drainage system in the study area to accommodate storm water flows,
  2. From the study, construction of artificial channels to divert part of water discharge during flooding is essential in mitigating the effects of this flood menace,
  3. Adequate machinery should be put in place to ensure corruption is eradicated completely so that the relief and support send to the areas affected will work efficiently in alleviating the impact of flooding,
  4. Dumping of waste indiscriminately should be a great offence with high fines, and the local government authorities should make provision for proper waste management schemes for public use,
  5. Government at various levels and NGOs should set up various information programmes to educate the public on dangers of flooding and encroachment on floodplains or river valley.

5.2 Conclusion

Flood menace has associated diverse effects both in developed and developing countries. These effects such as socio-economic devastation, property loss, environmental degradation, health issues and untimely death can be reduced if properly managed by adopting integrated flood management for sustainable development when dealing with flood issues.

Also, the above stated measures could be adopted so as to have flood free environment and to achieve a safe, conducive, pleasant, aesthetic environment for living and working conditions.

It seems increasingly accepted (although not consistently implemented) that flood incidents shouldn’t be dealt with through humanitarian relief interventions alone as revealed in this study. There is some evidence to support the argument that flood incidents in properties, Calabar South Local Government Area, just like in other parts of Nigeria, should shift away from this traditional response approach to focus on addressing the impact of flooding and causes of people’s vulnerability to flood menace in order to mitigate its effects by build community resilience for sustainable development.

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