Substantive Causes and Effects of Floods in South Western Nigeria and Sustainable Development of the Cities and Towns

By Aderogba, Kofo A. | Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, August 2012 | Go to article overview

Substantive Causes and Effects of Floods in South Western Nigeria and Sustainable Development of the Cities and Towns


Aderogba, Kofo A., Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies


Abstract

Recent floods and consequences all over the world are becoming too frequent and threat to sustainable development in human settlements. The objective of this study is to examine the substantive causes and selected effects of floods in south western Nigeria with a view to indentify solutions for sustainable development. The work is limited to the cities and towns of the region. Read literature on floods. Flood occurrences and effects in major cities and towns of the region were observed and studied for thirty years. Living habits of the urbanites were studied. 6 monarchs and 240 other urban dwellers were interviewed. Documentaries on radio and televisions were listened to and used. Records of physical planning were perused in the Ministries of Physical Planning and Environment/Infrastructure in the states of the region. No city or town of the south western Nigeria is absolutely free from floods in any year. The number of occurrences, magnitudes, affected areas and adverse socio-economic consequences have been increasing over the years. Living habits of the urban dwellers, urban policies and programmes, government concerns and others have been unsustainable. There must be pragmatic physical planning and sustainable living habit of the urbanites. Otherwise, with global warming, the effects of floods in the region may be more grievous.

Keywords: floods, urban dwellers, cities and towns, south western Nigeria, sustainable development.

INTRODUCTION

Occurrence and reoccurrence of prolonged heavy rain showers and the resultant floods all over the world in the recent time are becoming concerns to research and governments, (Christopherson, 1997; ActionAid, 2006; Adeaga, 2008; Aderogba, 2011 and 2012, Pilgrim and Cordery, 1993; and Wright, 2011). Particularly in the rainy seasons, it is usually common story to read about in the dailies and magazines in United States of America (Dow and Dowing, 2006; and Kersh and Simon, 2005); Pakistan and India (Wright, 2011); and even in Nigeria, (Taiwo, 2011; Akanin and Bilesanmi, 2011; and Aderogba, 2012a and 2012b). The frequency of this phenomenon is no longer news worthy at some instances. There are three schools of taught about the preponderance of floods all over the globe especially in the tropics. The first is of the opinion that there is global warming and climate change that is directly and or indirectly increasing the amount of rain and ice melting that is increasing the amount of runoff. In this case, the only source of water that results in great runoff, (floods), in West Africa, and indeed, south western Nigeria, will be rain water. The second school of thought is of the view that there have been a lot of abuses heaped on the physical environment of man; and that the environment is only responding to the abuses heaped on it. The abuses include but not limited to poor planning of the physical environment, poor management of wastes, inadequate drains for the built up areas and others. The third school has it that it is the combination of both global warming and climate change, and the abuses of man on the environment that are the causes of prolonged and torrential showers of rains and the resultant runoffthat lead to devastating floods in America, Europe and Africa -including Nigeria; and south western Nigeria. The facts behind the three schools are yet to be thoroughly researched and confirmed, (Dow and Dowing, 2006 and Kersh and Simon 2005).

There have been journalistic and non-quantitative reports of flood for several parts of Nigeria. But they are superficial and lack directions for professionals and policy makers (Aderogba, 2011). The woks of Taiwo, (2008), Amaize, (2003), Babalola, (1997), Atdhor, Odjugo and Uriri, (2011), British Broadcasting Corporation, (1999) and Mordi, (2011) are in this category. They are generic in analysis of data and information; and in the recommendations for sustainable development. Above all, there is none, of recent, to describe the magnitude and criticality of the phenomena with the attendant challenges. …

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