Nigeria is the most populous Black race country in Africa and in the world with a total land area of 983,213 km2 occupied by over 160 Million people: The interaction of these millions of people with their environment has left indelible mark on the landscape. Urbanization, deforestation, flooding, desertification, over population and all kinds of pollution are some of the resultant effects of man’s interaction with his environment. These changes result from the populace attempt to achieve their seemingly endless desire for food, shelter, recreation and infrastructural facilities and urbanization in general. This has placed a lot of pressure on the environment. Flooding has become the annual experience of Nigerian cities especially in Aba, Abia State where it has causes economic stampede in the rainy seasons of the year. Effort made by the government and residents to forestall the menace has produced sub-optimal results. There is hence, the need to adopt more proactive, standard and reliable procedures that can give sustainable outcome and restore the socio-economics growth of the urban centre.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Human anxiousness as well as quest to improve survival chances and gain better control over their environment has indeed succeeded through man’s constant exploration, exploitation and alteration of the natural environment. This has enabled man to achieve urbanization, industrialization and development in general. These developments have not come without a very high price due to the vindictive nature of the environment.
The result or implication of human development is the evolution of serious environmental problems such as deforestation, erosion, global warming, flooding, pollution and recently climate change etc. these environmental problems have prevailed more in the developed nations of the world and urban centers in general. Flooding particularly has caused a lot of the world. This research focuses on the problems and prospects of flooding in Nigerian cities, using Aba urban Area as a case study.
In recent times, many urban Areas in the Nigeria have been facing series of environmental problems especially flooding. This is particularly the case with Aba urban Area where flood has constantly caused destruction of property and discourage socio-economic activities in the area. Aba urban Area is the commercial and industrial nerve Area of Abia State in Nigeria. Aba has a very high population which has increasingly intensified human activities in the area.
The increasing persistence of flood occurrences in recent times has undoubtedly attracted public awareness about the need to combat this environmental hazard to improve the economic viability of Aba urban center, the study area. It is perhaps the realization of this that prompted the Abia State Government’s decision to embark on the construction of a total of about 27 kilometers of primary and secondary drainage channels which is expected to drain an area of about 2000 hectares of land upon its completion (ministry of works Abia State, 2010). It is also expected that the drainages still under construction would supplement the already existing ones in the commercial city.
Experience has shown however, that inspite of the increasing awareness in combating flood hazard in Aba urban Area, the menace has persisted. This is because past flood control strategies have not achieved the desired result. The failure to achieve these results may in fact be due to lack of understanding of the dynamic characteristics of the environmental variable that influence the persistence of these flood and which is great importance in the formation of effective flood–control policies.
Inability of the state government to effectively control indiscriminate waste disposal in the drainages through provision of incinerators coupled with the poor drainage constructions going on, further worsens the flood situation in the study area.
Aba urban Area remains the commercial and industrial nerve Area of Abia state, with a very high population of about 8.5 million people (U.N, 2010). Aba urban Area is known for intense commercial and manufacturing activities in the markets, most popular among them is Ariaria international market.
These intense human activities and high population family contribution to increase the flood risk potential of the study area. Moreover, the physical attribute of the study area in terms of its relief, geology and soil also favor flood occurrence. Hence proffering solution to the flood situation in the study area would involve an in depth understanding of this socio-economic and physical attributes.
Flood occurrences are always occurring in rainy or wet season from April to September. Most areas that are more prone to flood are high relief areas which are peneplain in nature. They include; Okigwe road, Omuma road area, faulks road area, Ariaria market area, ngwa road area, ohanku road area, over rail-areas, and most areas in osisioma.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There is indeed urgent need to provide reliable solution to the occurrence of flooding in Aba urban Area, the study area. Therefore, attempts shall be made to provide answers to the following questions which will arise in the study.
The physical nature of the study area Aba urban and how it encourages flood occurrences.
The diverse causes of flooding in Aba urban and the most affected areas.
How these floods can be effectively controlled, eliminated or even avoided to avert its impact on human activities in the study area.