Flooding In Nigeria; Causes, Effects And Solution

Project and Seminar Material for Urban and Regional Planning

Flooding In Nigeria; Causes, Effects And Solution


Against the background of incessant occurrence of flood and its devastating impacts on residents, the research focused on causes and effect and solution to flooding in lagos state. Data were collected through the use of structured questionnaire from the respondents. A total of two hundred fifty (250) questionnaires were administered to the respondents in the study areas. The questionnaires were distributed using the systematic random technique at interval of ten housing units. Data collected were analyzed through the use of descriptive statistical analysis such as cross-tabulation and frequency. The study reveals that the major cause of flood in the study area was the non-functionality of the drainage system (65.89%) or total absence of the drainage system (37.68%) as the case may be. Also, high rainfall (65.22%) and dumping of waste into the drainage and water bodies (44.93%) have contributed to the regular occurrence of flood in the area. The regular re-occurrence of flood in the area has also been detrimental to the health of the residents of Area. The study recommends enforcement of environmental laws that will restrict dumping of waste into the water body and sponsoring of public awareness and educative programs on how man’s activities has contributed to flood occurrence. Also, the repair and construction of drainage system should also be sponsored by the government at various level as well as proper channelization of river bodies to prevent overflow during heavy downpour. This will undoubtedly control its occurrence.

Chapter One


Background to 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 reoccurrence 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.

Statement of the Problem

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.

Akintola, (2006) has reported cases of Flood in lagos state in which gullies were created, farmlands destroyed and people rendered homeless. With the increasing number of urban dwellers, the number of people at risk or vulnerable to flood hazard in Lagos is increasing such that it has been identified as a serious threat to sustainable development of Lagos (Umunakwe, 1999).

However most papers reviewed focuses on the risk assessment and and management of flooding in some urban areas. Alao (2009) has reported that the high amount of sediment yield in a river is directly related to the amount, duration and intensity of rainfall, as well as stream discharge, which often increases the river water level and finally causes flooding in Ilorin. Evans, et al, (2004) Considered six combination of river water level, in London to produce a flood hazard map of the area showing the spatial distribution of different levels of flood risk. Of all the papers reviewed, little attention is paid to thoroughly investigate human as a causative to flooding and the actual causes and effect and solution to on residents of these areas. These studies do not have quick glance maps of environmental indices that can enable one have a vivid impression about the situation on ground. Oludare et al., (2018), Olajuyigbe, et al. (2018) and olabisi (2018) made a qualitative assessment of flood hazard in Nigeria but these papers did not to talk of describing how the people perceive of flood. Research on flood risk and vulnerability should have a people centered approach because of the need to address the issue of safety resulting from flood risk (Ibeh 2009).

Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to determine the causes and effect and solution to flooding in Lagos state.

Specifically the study seeks to:

  1. Determine the likely causes of flood in the selected study area
  2. Examine the Availability and condition of drainage system selected study area
  3. Determine if man’s activities induces flood in the selected study area
  4. Determine the Effects of flood incidence in the selected study area

Research Questions

The research questions raised to guide this study are:

  1. What are the likely causes of flood in the selected study area?
  2. What is the condition of drainage system selected study area?
  3. Does the activities of man induce flood in the selected study area?
  4. What is the Effects of flood incidence in the selected study area?

Significance of the Study

The disaster profile of Lagos and environ is dominated by flood events which are associated with property damage, interruption of movement of people and that of economic activities, which invariably retard development. This study is important as it will suggest disaster reduction related activities targeted at safety and sustainability of human lives and property. Also it would serve as a guide to government in the allocation of space for developmental activities, management and prevention of flood.

Scope of the Study

The study would examine the causes and effect and solution to flooding in Lagos state. The study is further delimited to areas prone to flooding in lagos state such as Ogba, Oshodi, Ketu, Banana Island, Surulere, Ayob, Aboru In Ipaja Ojodu.

Limitation of the study

This study is limited by lack of financial capability and time on the part of the researcher which lead to reduction of the case study to Ogba ,Oshodi, Ketu, Banana Island and Surulere

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations


Water will always find it own path if not channelized by man. The need to research into the causes of flood and provide adequate flood management strategies is an aspect of environmental management that planners must pay ample attention to if they want to make the environment a haven. The improvement of roads and accessibility of cities, provision of funds and equipments for disaster management agencies is critical to abating disasters in the Nigerian urban environment and even in the rural areas too. In both the developed and developing world, the problems associated with flooding constitute a growing hazard to human activities as population densities increase.

Although, studies conducted in different areas, have shown that, a hundred percent (100%) success may not always be achieved in eradication of flooding problems especially in urban environment yet, their damaging effects can be mitigated through management measures that are carefully designed by government or affected communities. These must be effectively and economically supervised and funded.


Based on the findings of this study, the research recommends possible solutions that would accommodate immediate remedial and preventive measures to minimizing flood problems observed in the study area.

Therefore, the following measures are recommended:

  1. There is a need for provision of standard infrastructural facilities by the government. These facilities include good surface drainage, potable water supply for consumption and other supporting facilities.
  2. Repair and construction of these drainages where necessary should be embarked on to further ease the flow of storm water. Also, excavation of solid waste and other deposits which are present in the existing canals.
  3. There should be improvement in technology on how local building material can be subsidized so as to make structures flood resistant. Likewise, roofing materials should be improved upon to avoid building and structural collapse.
  4. Environmental sanitation program must be made compulsory and appropriate agency should be vested with the power to punish residents who fail to adhere to the rule of sanitation. There should be fines and penalties for people who fail to comply with the sanitation program.
  5. Public enlightenment programmes should be organized to educate the public on the dangers of flood disaster and its causes as a result of the habit of throwing and dumping refuse in gutters, drainage paths and river channels. There is also need for government to set up various information programmes to educate the masses on how to respond to flood disaster.
  6. In order to reduce the risk of flood, the government should provide adequate funding for disaster management bodies and agencies to enable them perform and execute their duties effectively and efficiently. This will go a long way in checking the problem of flood occurrence in Agege local government.
  7. Strict flood control legislation is required to check unplanned encroachment on urban plains and should be enforced within the study area. Regulatory agencies are required to restrict development in floodprone areas. This measure can be used to avoid flood rather than control it.
  8. Resettlement of population can be done when all flood mitigation measures do not seems to work. This measure may be expensive because alternative land and houses in some cases will have to be allocated to each household that is being resettled.
  9. The road network in the study area lacks drainage system to the extent that water overflow on the road during heavy rainfall. Thus, the state government along with the local government should embark on the construction of wide and deep drainage system that can withstand heavy water flow.
  10. Quality materials should be used for the construction of drainages and bridges.

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