Flooding, disaster management and urban development in Onitsha Anambra state


Price: 2000 Naira (BSC, MSC)



Urban development is happening all over the world at a rate that is unprecedented in the world’s history. Statistics show that by the year 2030 two thirds of the population of the world will be living in urban areas (World Bank, 2013). Today, fifty two percent of the world’s population resides in urban centers, yet these urban centers occupy only 2% of the worlds land (World Bank, 2013). The bulk of this population increase is expected not to be in mega cities but in medium (population between 1–5 million) and small cities (population < 500,000) (World Population Prospects, 2011). Statistics show ninety percent of urban growth in the world is taking place in these small cities. Expected consequences are an increase in dependency on urban services, economic opportunities, resources, and infrastructure. Urban development happens at different rate and for different reasons. In developed countries, for instance, industrialization increased urban development as people migrated to the urban centers in search of job opportunities. This movement of people still takes place in developing countries, where people still migrate to the urban areas in search of better opportunities, healthcare and advancement. This situation, however, results in increased physical and demographic growth but infrastructural and activity growth lags behind, as well as causing urban areas to grow organically in urban sprawls, slum and sometimes in the center of the city. This spatial spread in most cases develops on environmentally hazardous lands like flood plains and hill sides. Infrastructural development like roads and service networks are usually lacking, as poverty, crime poor and environments dominate. As a result, urban populations, particularly in developing countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, like Nigeria, form one of the most deprived groups (World Bank, 1997, in Osinubi, 2003). To further compound this problem is the increasing occurrences of natural disasters such as flooding. Flood disasters are the world’s most frequently occurring natural disasters, in recent times. Flooding is the flow of water exceeding the most frequently recorded level and causing an overflow of water that rises and spreads out over land, and causing lots of damages to lives and properties (Howard, 1978). Flooding is caused by both natural and anthropogenic activities. Natural causes include low-lying topography, high tides, climate change, soil characteristics and storm surge, as well as heavy rainfall, highly accelerated snowmelt, severe winds over water, unusual high tides, and tsunamis. Anthropogenic causes include; urban development, poor drainage systems and failure of hard flood control measures like dams. Floods and their associated consequences thus remain serious threats to sustainable development (FMEnv, 2005). Flooding disasters have become an inherent problem in most urban centres (Oriola, 2011). Urban areas experience physical development with spatial dimensions, and this exerts more effects in urban areas. For instance, increased amounts of impervious surfaces that are characteristic of urban areas mean reduced vegetation cover that can absorb rainfall. This factor increases run off which can quickly flood an area that is not properly drained. In addition, construction patterns in cities often result in clearing of large parcels of land for development. This aids degradation of natural protection and so absorption or precipitation is reduced. This increases the rate of flooding. Urban areas that are low-lying or located close to water bodies are usually more vulnerable as spatial development on the usually cheaper lands of the floodplains hinders natural drainage courses. This obstruction causes a buildup of water with increased precipitation which then results in flooding. Also because of dense movement of people and lack of central sewer systems waste water from household sewers quickly overflow and mix with the flood waters during flooding. This causes degradation to the physical environment and pollution of water bodies on which the city dwellers depend on .This can be a source of serious disease hazards even after the flood. Poor waste collection, which is typical of many cities, means huge waste dumps that would clog the mouths of drains and serve as breeding grounds for many harmful disease carrying vectors. When these dumps are mixed with flood water in the presence of high humidity, it escalates the scale and variety of disease carrying vectors. This factor in recent years has caused a resurfacing of long eradicated diseases like dengue fever. Flooding in Onitsha poses challenges today, as to the management of this disaster and urban development in Onitsha, Anambra state. Urban flooding on the other hand occurs in towns, on flat or low-lying terrain especially where little or no provision has been made for surface drainage, or where existing drainage has been blocked with municipal waste, refuses and eroded soil sediments (Folorunsho and Awosika 2001; Ologunorisa, 2004). In spite of series of recommendations Floods can also occur in rivers, when flow exceeds the capacity of the river channel as this was major attribute of the flooding in Anambra state in 2012, particularly at bends or meanders. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are placed in natural flood plains of rivers. While flood damage can be avoided by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water, since time out of mind, people have lived and worked by the water to seek sustenance and capitalize on the gains of cheap and easy travel and commerce by being near water. That humans continue to inhabit areas threatened by flood damage is evidence that the perceived value of living near the water exceeds the cost of repeated periodic flooding. finally, Disaster management will help to cushion the effect of flooding in reducing human, economic, and financial costs of natural disasters in Onitsha , by providing resources for early warning, rapid recovery - under sound budgetary management - following natural disasters, and, will reduce the likelihood of life losses, and infrastructure damage resulting from natural forces, by supporting policy, and institutional reforms, aimed at reducing flood disaster risks, and vulnerability. 1.20: STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM Onitsha a commercial city has been a fast development as a commercial city in Nigeria and Africa. The study discovered a lot of problem that led to the study on the flooding, disaster management and urban development in Onitsha. The first factor is that flooding which causes physical damage to structures, social dislocation, contamination of clean drinking water, spread of water-borne diseases, shortage of crops and food supplies, death of non tolerant tree species, disruption in transportation system, serious economic loss and psychological trauma. Huge sum of money meant for other purposes were spent to cushion the effect of flooding through different disaster management agencies. Looking at Onitsha as a developing commercial urban center there is a need to bring the connect between the flooding, disaster management and current urban development in Onitsha, Anambra state. 1.30 GOAL AND OBJECTIVES The formulation of goal will be a guide to the direction and coverage of the study the goals and objective are stated below. 1.31: GOAL The Goal of the study is to Access the Impacts of Flooding, disaster management and urban development, and possible solution using disaster management on flooding effects and urban development in Onitsha, Anambra state. 1.32: THE OBJECTIVES 1. Causes and effects of flooding 2. Strengthening of National/State disaster Management Agencies. 3. Ensure proper land use to minimize blockage of drainage system, deforestation .etc 4. Reduction of flooding with proper implementation of urban development plan in Onitsha. 1.40: Research questions • What are the effects and causes of flooding? • What ways can the national and state emergency agencies be strengthened? • How can proper urban development be ensured.? • How can we reduce flooding with the tools of urban planning? 1.50: STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS H1 test for significant relationship between rate of urban development and the effects flooding in Onitsha H2 test for significant relationship exist between state of urban development and effects flood disaster management in Onitsha, Anambra state 1.51: DEFINITION OF variables. The formation of my goals, objectives and test of hypothesis the following variables where taken into consideration: Flooding, disaster management, urban planning, risk management, over population, drainage system, waste management, NEMA and Geospatial information. 1.60: SCOPE OF THE STUDY The scope of the study will be taken a look at the flooding, disaster management and the rate of urban development in Onitsha Anambra state from 2012 to 2014 the effect and causes of the flooding in the area, the study will take a look at few part of Onitsha north but will make most of its assertions from Onitsha south as it has been the area more prone to flooding. 1.70: LIMITATION OF THE STUDY The problem encountered in the cause of my study was, sourcing of secondary data in most of disaster management agencies both the state, and the federal agencies as most of them were reluctant on the release data and information necessary to Cary out the study. Moreover, to overcome this challenges face to face interviews was carried out to get my findings. 1.80: THE SIGNIFICANT OF THIS STUDY This work will be of immense value to policy makers, planners, administrators and managers of the environment, the academia and in fact, all stakeholders in the environment and risk reduction and management agencies. The reduction of urban flooding through proper disaster management, and proper implementation of urban developmental plans. Therefore, I am poised to make a new contribution to the field of knowledge and also to widen the scope of research. It will thus, provide the much needed data for capacity building for proper flooding disaster management with contemporary urban planning in Onitsha, Anambra state which will serve as a model for other commercial and non commercial urban centers in Nigeria. 1.90: DEFINITION OF TERMS The course of the study the following variables shall defined and explained for overview of understanding, as most of them where subjects of discussion in the course of my study. Flooding/flood: The European Union (EU) Floods Directive defines a flood as a covering by water of land not normally covered by water. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water, such as a river or lake, which overflows or breaks levees, with the result that some of the water escapes its usual boundaries or may be due to accumulation of rainwater on saturated ground in an area flood. Disaster management. These are actions taken to mitigate that is means reduction of risk from hazards to acceptable levels through predetermined physical measures accompanying development, Preparedness means making specific preparations for knowing beforehand what to do after a disaster, Response means actions taken to respond to the disaster after it has happened, such as rescuing survivors, mass evacuation, feeding and sheltering victims, restoring communications, etc Urban development: Is the social, cultural, economic and physical development of cities, as well as the underlying causes of these processes. Cities and their development is a central topic in human geography, and the study of cities makes up the sub-discipline of city geography or urbanism. Urban planning: is a technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of urban environment including transportation networks, to ensure and guide the orderly development of settlements and communities. It concerns itself with research and analysis strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, public recommendations, implementation and management. Disaster Risk Reduction: The conceptual framework of elements considered with the possibilities to minimize vulnerabilities and disaster risks throughout a society, to avoid (prevention) or to limit (mitigation and preparedness) adverse impact of hazards, within the broad context of sustainable development. 1.20 HAZARDS: Natural Hazards, dangers arising from geological or weather-related occurrences, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. 1.21 The most familiar and publicized hazards are those that take place without warning, often of catastrophic dimensions. Over population: growth of population to such a size that space, food, water, or other resources available to support it are insufficient. Drainage system: an essential part of living in a city or urban area, as it reduces flood damage by carrying water away. Waste management: Is the generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes. Geospatial Information: is the information describing the location and names of features beneath, on or above the earth’s surface. As its simplest this can mean the basic topographical information found on the map, but also includes different location related datasets combined into complex layers that show information such as land and population density.

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