1.1: Background of the Study
Flood is a predominant natural and human induced hazards in Nigeria. Flood according to Aderogba (2012b) is a situation that result when a high rate of rainfall or precipitation, where the rates of absorption is low that causes bank of rivers or seas flowing over its usual limits. He classified flooding into two types in Nigeria: (1). High Frequency Flood which is called the annual flooding in Nigeria and are very rapid or short-term cause of flooding along the coastal areas especially in Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Cross-rivers and Anambra west local government area. (2). Low Frequency Flood, these are those ones that normally occur in other various parts of Nigeria apart from the coastal flood areas and are slow-long term duration that occurs in Adamawa, Gombe, Jigawa amongst others. In contemporary times, flood has become a common hazard not only in the low-lying coastal environment like Lagos, Rivers, Delta States and etc but also in the hinterland places like Ekiti, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Gombe, Imo, Enugu, and Anambra state. Some of these places often experience flood during heavy rainfall events.
According to Resonzweig (2009), flood can be defined as an unusual accumulation of water above the ground, which is caused by high tides, heavy rainfall, or rapid run-off from paved surface. Flood is mainly an environmental hazard of meteorological phenomenon but very often, it could be induced by human’s improper utilization or abuse of the physical environment.
Floods result when a stream runs out of its confines and submerges the surrounding environment (Stephen, 2011). Similarly, Kates (1985) defines floods as an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. European Union (1985) sees flooding as a temporal covering of land by water, not covered by water before the incidence. Although flood may be temporal as suggested by the European Union (1985), its effects may not be temporal when such occurrence claims several lives and properties. Flood not only affects the victims but also has great effects on the national economy where poverty level tends to rise due to the incidence.
Therefore, the vision of Nigeria to be among the top twenty economy in the world by the year 2020 may be a mirage, if lives and property are not safe from the frequent occurrence of flooding in the country as floods is one of the major factors that have been preventing Africa’s population from escaping poverty level (Action Aid, 2006).
Halley (2001) identifies the major causes of flooding in Africa to be inadequacy of drainage. On the contrary, the major causes of flooding in Nigeria have been identified to be excessive rainfall (Taiwo, 2008; Akanin and Bilesanmi, 2011; Aderogba, 2012). Meanwhile, flood usually occurs when there is a continuous downpour of rain for a long period of time and the resultant excess water has the capacity beyond what the available drainage can easily convey due to its inadequacy or blockage of drainage basin. There are three schools of thought about the preponderance of floods all over the globe especially in the tropics. The first school of thought is that, there is global warming and climate change that is directly 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 floods in West Africa and indeed, Communities in Anambra West Local Government area will be rain water. The second school of thought is that, there have been a lot of abuses heaped on the physical environment by man; and that the environment is now responding to these abuses heaped on it. These abuses includes but not limited to poor planning of the physical environment, poor wastes management, inadequate drainages for the built up areas and others. The third school of thought has it that, it is the combination of global warming, climate change and the abuses of the environment by man that are the causes of prolonged and torrential rains and the resultants runoff that has lead to the devastating effects of flooding in America, Europe, Africa – including Nigeria; and Communities in Anambra West Local Government Area. However, the facts behind the three schools of thought are yet to be thoroughly researched and confirmed (Dow and Dowing, 2006).
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 (Aderogba, 2012), and these have made floods to be a call for concern in the country. Floods experienced in time past just like the havoc caused by the flood incidence of Ogunpa river in Ibadan, Nigeria in 1980 are still a cause of sorrow for many victims where several lives were lost and properties worth millions of Naira went into air, people who were bourgeois became proletariat in a twinkling of an eye. So, flood in Nigeria has done more harm without any notice of benefit. Some report also have it that over one million Nigerians may die due to the effects of floods before 2015 if no precautionary measures are not put in place.
From the above therefore, there is an urgent need to assess the socioeconomic effects of flooding in Communities, Anambra West Local Government Area and the imperative steps to be taken by the government and its host communities to reduce the effects of this flooding and the necessary mitigation measures for sustainable development of the communities affected as government and her agencies have continued to work towards providing relief materials to floods victims rather than taking proactive measures against flood occurrences.
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 communities were displaced and inhabitants of the affected communities 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 communities were submerged including communities in Anambra West 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, Communities in Anambra West 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 socio-economic effects of this flood menace in the study area and in the country at large for the purpose of sustainable development.
1.3: Aim and Objectives
The aim of this study is to assess the socio-economic effects of flood menace in some communities in Anambra West Local Government Area with a view to adduce solutions for sustainable development in these communities.
- To examine the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants of the study area;
- To determine the incidence of flood in the communities study areas
- To determine the socio-economic effects of flooding in the communities study area; and,
- To determine coping strategies for resilience adaptation to flooding incidents in the study area.
1.4: Research Questions
- What are the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants of the study area
- What is the incidence of flood in the study area
- What are the socio-economic effects of flood menace across the communities study area?
- What are the coping strategies for resilient adaptation to flooding incidents in the study area?
1.5: Research Hypothesis
Four null hypotheses were postulated and tested at 0.05 levels of significance in order to answer the above research questions viz:
- Ho: There is no significant pattern of socioeconomic effects of flooding in the study area
- Ho: There is no significant difference in the incidence of flooding across communities in Anambra West Local Government Area;
- Ho: There is no significance relationship between flood incidence (frequency) and socio- economic effects in communities study area
- Ho: There is no significant difference between the socio-economic effects of flooding across the communities study area.
1.8: Significance of the Study
This research study “assessment of the socio-economic effects of flooding in some Communities in Anambra West Local Government Area” focuses on determining the socio-economic effects of flooding in the community study area which is yet to be investigated. Therefore, true socio-economic effects of flooding in these communities 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 socio-economic effects of flooding in some communities in Anambra West Local Government Area, Anambra State. The study is restricted to the impacts (effects) associated with flood menace on houses, households’ properties, crops, population of the communities and the socio-economic activities of the people in the