The Effect Of Hazardous Metropolis; Flooding And Urban Ecology In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Environmental Science

The Effect Of Hazardous Metropolis; Flooding And Urban Ecology In Nigeria


Abstract


Although better known for its sunny skies, Nigeria suffers devastating flooding. This book explores a fascinating and little-known chapter in the city’s history—the spectacular failures to control floods that occurred throughout the twentieth century. Despite the city’s 114 debris dams, 5 flood control basins, and nearly 500 miles of paved river channels, Southern Californians have discovered that technologically engineered solutions to flooding are just as disaster-prone as natural waterways. Jared Orsi’s lively history unravels the strange and often hazardous ways that engineering, politics, and nature have come together in Los Angeles to determine the flow of water. He advances a new paradigm—the urban ecosystem—for understanding the city’s complex and unpredictable waterways and other issues that are sure to play a large role in future planning. As he traces the flow of water from sky to sea, Orsi brings together many disparate and intriguing pieces of the story, including local and national politics, the little-known San Gabriel Dam fiasco, the phenomenal growth of Los Angeles, and, finally, the influence of environmentalism. Orsi provocatively widens his vision toward other cities for which Los Angeles may offer a lesson—both of things gone wrong and a glimpse of how they might be improved. Flood is a predominant natural hazard in Nigeria. In the last 30 years, Nigerian cities have experienced great physical development in terms of building, construction and reconstruction of roads, offices, markets, and stores, manufacturing industries and others without any appreciable infrastructures such as drainages for roads and canals to support them. These have made floods to be a serious challenge that plague many community in Nigeria including some cities in Lagos state, Nigeria. Hence, this research assessed the the effect of hazardous metropolis: Flooding and urban ecology in Nigeria using Ikorodu, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja, in Lagos state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at examining the perception of residents on the causes of flooding in Lagos state, examine the effect of flooding on the residents of Lagos state, investigate the actions taken by Lagos state residents to minimize flood risk and impact, and investigate the steps the government has taken to control flood in Lagos state. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 284 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Ikorodu, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja, in Lagos state. The study recommended that the government of Lagos state should as a matter of urgency prioritize legislation and provision of resources towards flood hazard and flood risk mapping for the whole of Lagos state. This is the basis of flood risk mitigation within the European Union framework, which requires all constituting states to prepare flood hazard and flood risk maps to promote the concept of living with floods.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The complexity of anthropogenic activities of man without adequate attention to geological structure of most cities of developed and developing nations has undoubtedly contributed to re-occurrence of disaster and consequently poses threat to environmental sustainability in most of these nations (Oludare et al., 2018). This irrefutably has led or accumulated to unresolved challenges. Among the unresolved challenges being faced are vicious flood incidences experienced in the last four decades. The occurrence is stern in third world countries where there is intensity in land use, haphazard development, and unprecedented urbanization among others. According to Adeyinka et al. (2008, p. 1) “Most of these cities are also characterized by uncontrolled development , substandard and inadequate housing, poor infrastructure provision and development, poor planning process and administration, weak urban governance, poor land use structure resulting to slum…’’. These plethora of problems are bedeviling cities of third world countries and Nigeria in particular.Consequently, there has been unprecedented occurrence of floods and its associated negativities in most of the urban centers of developing countries(Montoya Morales, 2002). For instance, in Nigeria, reports have shown that devastating flood disaster had occurred in Ibadan (1985, 1987, 1990, and 2011), Osogbo (1992, 1996, 2002, and 2010), Yobe (2000), Akure (1996, 2000, 2002,2004 and 2006) and the coastal cities of Lagos, Ogun, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Uyo, Warri among others (Olaniran, 1983). This claimed many lives and properties worth millions of Naira. Several anthropogenic factors have contributed to the incidence of flood. Among these factors is the encroachment of development to flood prone areas. The incursion into such areas have being progressive until now because of unprecedented urbanization and industrialization which has undoubtedly resulted into large scale massive deforestation, loss of surface vegetation and farmlands.According to Okechuckwu (2008 p. 272); “the incursion of unplanned and uncontrolled development into urban infrastructure facilities, violate the major objectives of physical planning and consequently result into misuse of land thereby creating disorderly arrangement of urban landscape and the occurrence flood that is mostly evident in cities of third world countries”. Arising from these incongruous and haphazard developments in cities of third world cities, the occurrence of flood, particularly in Lagos, has been known to be paramount to some areas or local government in the state. According to Oyebande (1990) water will always find its way if not well channelized. Its choice route often poses problems to man by tampering with his physical environment, health and products of agriculture, urbanization and industrialization. This has created a lot of social and economic cost on the environment and the citizenry. Few among these social and economic impacts on the environment are: outbreak of health diseases, infrastructure failure, mental health effects, building collapse, destruction of agricultural farmland and products. Flood has been reported as a major and devastating problem in some sectors of the economy (Petak and Atkisson, 1982). Its effects are very severe to virtually all forms of land use. The severity of its impact is also reflected on the rate of development of most nations that experience such. Thus if adequate attention in terms of preventive measures are not put in place towards controlling its sporadic occurrence and its associated impacts particularly during rainy season, its incidence can turn a developed nation back into a developing nation.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The Lagos climate is equatorial, with rainfall throughout the year, however most of the precipitation falls during the rainy season, usually between March or April and September or October [Israel, 2002]. Average monthly rainfall during the rainy season can exceed 200mm, typically greater than the infiltration capacity of the soils rapidly leading to the generation of runoff that overwhelms the drainage system (both natural and anthropogenic) [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015]. Lagos has a low-lying topography with slopes typically between 1–4%, and elevations ranging from or below sea level to approximately 2m above sea level [Sojobi et al, 2016]. The low slope angle delays the drainage of water from the land, which combined with the increase in runoff generation associated with urban expansion, increases the flood risk over time. Flooding has been an issue in Nigeria certainly since the 1950s [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015], although the earliest available historical record of flooding in Lagos dates back to July 1947 [Nwigwe et al, 2014], with the event being caused by a period of heavy rainfall. Despite the long history of flooding in Lagos, the growth of unplanned settlements in the city has compounded the flood issue with only 45% of the urban area being served by storm drains [Nwigwe et al, 2014], of which less than 30% are regularly maintained [Sojobi et al, 2016]. The speed and extent of urbanisation in Lagos, combined with unplanned growth [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015] has led to an increase in flood episodes, to the point where they have become a perennial problem. Flooding in Lagos is now an annual even with the exception of the drought year of 1973 [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015]. The heightened risk of flooding in Lagos during the wet season has been recognised as an issue since at least the 1970s when residents considered it one of the three most important environmental problems [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015]. Typically flooding in the area is caused by either short duration high-intensity rainfall or long-duration low intensity rainfall, the frequency of both having increased compared to 30 years ago [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015].

Flooding in 2010, 2011 and 2012 have helped to raise the general awareness of the flood problem in Lagos, though they also demonstrate the scale of the problem that must be overcome. All three of the floods had the same basic impacts: displacement of residents, damage to property, disruption to communications and loss of life. The 2010 flood affecting Ikorodu caused significant damage and the relocation of thousands of residents, of whom over 1700 had to be provided with accommodation by the Lagos State government for over 10 months [Sojobi et al, 2016]. The following year’s flooding led to the costliest claims settlement in the history of the Nigerian insurance industry, estimated to range from between US$200 million to over US$300 million [Sojobi et al, 2016], though it should be noted that a significant number of low and middle-income properties were also affected but uninsured. The flooding in 2012 was considered the worst flood event in over 40 years [Nkwunonwo et al, 2015] affecting 7.7 million people including over 500 residents whose injuries were considered either a direct or indirect result of the flood and over 2 million residents displaced by the flood waters.

Residents of Lagos are known for their social life. In very recent times Lagos has been having issues of flooding despite the fact that it has several underground drainage network. Urban flash flood associated with torrential rainfall is the major type of flood in Lagos. It has impacted negatively on the people by disrupting their social life, on farm activities, free movement of people, goods and services. The effects of flooding in some parts of Lagos reflect in the submerging of buildings, farmlands and roads, this has implication on household well being.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary purpose of this study is to examine the effect of hazardous metropolis taking note of flooding and urban ecology in Nigeria.

Other specific objectives are:

  1. To examine the perception of residents on the causes of flooding in Lagos state.
  2. To examine the effect of flooding on the residents of Lagos state.
  3. To investigate the actions taken by Lagos state residents to minimize flood risk and impact.
  4. To investigate the steps the government has taken to control flood in Lagos state.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions guide this study:

  1. What is the perception of residents on the causes of flooding in Lagos state?
  2. What is the effect of flooding on the residents of Lagos state?
  3. What are the actions taken by Lagos state residents to minimize flood risk and impact?
  4. What are the steps the government has taken to control flood in Lagos state?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to policy makers and the government to come to the understanding of the causes flood and its effect on the communities affected as well as the residents of the vulnerable communities. This study will also bring to the knowledge of the Lagos state residents the various majors to take to curb the impact of flooding. This study will also add to existing literature on this study domain as well serve as a reference material for further studies in this topic or similar area in the future.


1.6 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on examining the perception of residents on the causes of flooding in Lagos state. The study will also examine the effect of flooding on the residents of Lagos state. This study will also look into the actions taken by Lagos state residents to minimize flood risk and impact. Finally, this study will investigate the steps the government has taken to control flood in Lagos state. Residents of Ikorodu, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja in Lagos state shall serve as enrolled participants for this study.


1.7 Limitation of the Study

The major limitation to this study are fund, time constraint and inadequate material.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine the effect of hazardous metropolis: Flooding and urban ecology in Nigeria using Ikorodu, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja, in Lagos state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at examining the perception of residents on the causes of flooding in Lagos state, examine the effect of flooding on the residents of Lagos state, investigate the actions taken by Lagos state residents to minimize flood risk and impact, and investigate the steps the government has taken to control flood in Lagos state.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 284 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are residents of Ikorodu, Surulere, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikeja, in Lagos state.


5.2 Conclusion

Flooding is a natural disaster whose impacts can not be overstated and since flood risk has been projected to increase globally, for a developing city like Lagos with a population of over 9 million people projected to increase to over 25 million by 2025, the impacts of flooding could prove disastrous if better flood prevention and management strategies are not adopted. Although respondents believed the main cause of flooding to be heavy rainfall events, anthropogenic causes that exacerbated the issue included: terrain (houses on floodplain), attitude to flooding (indiscriminate dumping of waste) and poor planning and maintenance of drainage systems. Houses were built and are still being built on floodplains. The government has advised residents to vacate such buildings, however, residents refuse to leave their homes as they have sentimental ties to them despite becoming aware they are at an increased risk to flooding. There also appears to be a diminished sense of environmental stewardship on the part of the government and the residents, including landlords as all parties are aware of the flood situation in Lagos but efforts that have been made or are still being made have not yielded much impact. As population increases, residents need more homes which unfortunately continue to be built on floodplains suggesting the lack of or lax enforcement of planning laws and policies. These factors coupled with the poor planning and maintenance of drainage systems poses an increasing number of issues for Lagos. There needs to be better laws governing waste disposal, updated and well maintained drainages and effective laws and policies preventing even more people from building on these low-lying areas. It is however, not enough to make laws and policies, these need to be effectively enforced and managed to ensure that all sides are doing their part in reducing flooding and its impacts in Lagos.


5.3 Recommendations

The researcher made the following recommendations:

  1. The government of Lagos state should as a matter of urgency prioritize legislation and provision of resources towards flood hazard and flood risk mapping for the whole of Lagos state. This is the basis of flood risk mitigation within the European Union framework, which requires all constituting states to prepare flood hazard and flood risk maps to promote the concept of living with floods.
  2. Flood risk reduction under the “living with floods” idea is multi-disciplinary, indicating that various industries can assist in reducing the impacts of flooding. This is the case in the UK in particular. In view of the widening of public awareness of flooding, there is a need for improved collaboration between the Lagos state government and federal ministries, departments, and agencies such as NEMA, NESREA, and NIHSA.
  3. Flood alert and flood early warning systems should be improved within the Lagos area. Globally, there is a growing concern regarding the dissemination of and response to flood warnings. On the basis of this, researchers in the UK and other European countries are anxious that flood warning systems are failing to yield the expected scale of damage savings.
  4. A series of issues need to be addressed with regard to the design of flood warning systems, and improved forecasting and response systems which correspond to the needs of the public and are often influenced by social, economic, and environmental variability. These issues should underlie improvements in any flood warning systems in Lagos. The cultural, social, and religious values of the people (which are important to many residents of Lagos) may also need to be taken into consideration when disseminating flood warnings. The reluctance of many people living in flood-prone areas to heed flood warnings should also be thoroughly investigated.
  5. Flood insurance is a non-structural approach which many property owners have benefitted from in developed countries following flood disasters. It is argued that the benefits of flood insurance far outweigh the limitations which exist (Treby et al., 2006; Crichton, 2008). Flood insurance is still being applied in places like the UK, the Netherlands, and Indonesia, although the coverage is at a relatively low scale (Jha et al., 2012). The need to enable flood victims to recover more quickly underscores flood insurance (Lamond and Penning Rowsell, 2014). Purchase of insurance is highly dependent on a number of factors, including its availability and cost, the level of the provision of disaster relief, general risk awareness, and attitudes to collective and individual risk (Lamond et al., 2009). For the Lagos area, poor awareness of flood insurance is a major issue. Urban residents need to know that a means of assisting them recover from flood losses is possible. They must be given the opportunity to try flood insurance based on individual volition. To support the roles of flood insurance in Lagos, it is recommended that the role of FEMA in this regard should be extended to the state, whilst encouraging insurance companies to commence an awareness campaign for property owners to take positive steps towards purchasing insurance cover.
  6. The enforcement of environmental standards and laws is often a key factor towards containing adverse effects of climate change including flooding (UN/ISDR, 2004). Indiscriminate waste disposal, construction along the flood plain, and the blockage of drainage facilities, among other anthropogenic activities influence flooding in Lagos and are often illegal. It can be argued that NESREA should embark on enforcement measures to address these issues.
  7. The reaction to the 1953 floods in the Netherlands has arguably made the Dutch an exemplar in terms of flood management (Vis et al., 2003). Invariably, the success of flood risk reduction in the Netherlands is built on a strong commitment to avoid a repeat occurrence. The population in general and the Dutch government are committed to the collective efforts which underlie success towards addressing the challenges of flooding. Collective flood management costs each Dutch adult about USD 110 annually (Kazmierczak and Carter, 2010). For this reason, we recommend that urban residents and the general public in Lagos need to engage more fully in flood management and control. This would include raising awareness of the risks and educating the wider public about potential solutions. This would include encouraging adherence to environmental laws and a commitment to engage with flood alerts and early warning systems. To support this, more education is required to make the public more aware about flooding and its consequences. Qualitative research such as CBA, involving the local community should also be encouraged.
  8. Globally, it appears that research is proportional to success towards addressing the threats of flooding. From scoping investigations it is clear that literature relating to flooding in Lagos appears embryonic compared to literature in the US, the Netherlands, China, and the UK for example. This is a strong indicator that more research is required for Lagos. Equally, the universities and research agencies should be encouraged to include flood awareness and management in their curricula and programmes. More research should be directed towards developing bespoke hydrologic and hydraulic flood models for simulating flood hazard and other hydrological parameters in the area.
  9. Globally, accurate data play a key role in flood risk mitigation and the government of Lagos state has made an unprecedented attempt to improve its data by the acquisition of LiDAR data sets, although access to these data sets has been limited due to funds. Given the importance of these data sets and the need to optimize their usefulness for the Lagos area, the state government should consider subsidizing these data sets for universities and research institutions. Additionally, we also recommend further improvement on data acquisition such as SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) for flood modelling within the Lagos area. It is argued that the key to wider applied research requires easy access to data and a collaborative approach between researchers and government agencies.

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