CHALLENGES OF POOR DRAINAGE SYSTEMS AND FLOODS CONTROL IN LAGOS METROPOLIS, NIGERIA
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Flooding is persistent in Lagos Metropolis. The objective of this paper is to ascertain the causes, magnitude, and effects; and to indicate directions for policy makers and urban dwellers. Topographical maps were used for data collection on the physical environment. Some physical measurements were made of the drainage channels and floods. 2,000 inhabitants of the metropolis were randomly selected and made to respond to some questions. In addition, authorities in professionally related fields including policy makers were made to make contributions. Intermittent supplies and torrential rainfall in its seasons are usually beyond the capacities of the channels. These are compounded by inadequate planning of the physical environment, wastes dumped in drainage channels and erosion passages, and deliberate or inadvertent physical structures that block free flow of water along the drains. Floods are as wide as 500m and above on each side of the channels and as high as 2.00m at some times and localities. There are some advantages associated with it. Living habits of the inhabitants have to change. Physical planning efforts have to be drastic, radical and deterministic towards sustainable drainage and erosion channels. There must be massive investment in dredging and re-dredging of the existing drainage network and channelization of the new suburbs. Floodable zones should be re-planned; and flood plains can be rehabilitated as parks and recreation centers.
1.1Background of the 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.
According to Ugbodaga, (2015) the government of Lagos State has warned state residents to prepare for heavy rains and advised residents of flood zones to be ready to move immediately they notice a gradual accumulation of the rising waters due to the poor drainage system that causes flood in the environment. The government said residents should be vigilant and prepare for the consequences of floods resulting from heavy rains in late; it would be in other parts of the country.
Ugbodaga also said that the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, reiterated this warning became necessary for the sensitivity of the population to ensure the free flow of rain water into the drain that it is imperative so as to avert consequence of the report of the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) which predicted heavy rainfall for Lagos State, among others.
Similarly Onisarotu, (2015) stressed that the rainy season was not over, has appealed to Lagosians to clean and clear the drains in front and around them regularly. “People should not panic whenever it rains, as they would start to experience accumulated water concentration on some parts of the roads and highways, depending on the intensity of the rains. We assure you that the accumulated water will recede in no time,” Onisarotu concluded.
Ugbodaga, (2015) also stressed that whatever flash floods recorded during the rains, would gradually be discharge in no time because of the effectiveness of our drainage channels. And also said advice that, residents residing along flood plains, low line areas and other coast lines like Ajegunle, Owode-Onirin axis, Owode-Elelede,Kuramo beach, Alpha beach,Okun -mapo,OkunAjah,Ijora-Badia,Iwaya and other low line areas should be extremely careful and may need to vacate their residence temporarily once they noticed gradual accumulation of rising water and move to higher grounds as the state is not ready to lose any life during the rainy period (Ugbodaga, 2015). However, Onisarotu, (2015) implored Lagosians to be safety conscious during this period, adding that these precautionary measures should be taken by avoiding going out during the rains except only when it is compulsory. In the same spirit advice that Lagosians need to be conscious when driving, do not over speed and ensure that your vehicles are in good condition. Do not drive through flooded areas as it might be difficult to identify its depth. Plan your journey before going out and avoid unnecessary outings. The put it cleared that the State Government will continue to intensify its cleaning and maintenance programme and will not relent until the zero tolerance targets to flooding are attained. We appeal to the people of the state to join hands with the government in making the state flood-free as the administration is making frantic efforts to minimize flooding,” Onisarotu concluded.
However, in the past four decades, economic losses due to natural hazards such as, floods disasters have increased in many folds and have also resulted in major loss of human lives and livelihoods, the destruction of economic and social infrastructure, as well as environmental damages (Munich, 2012). Flood could be seen as one of the most common natural disasters in the world. Floods, one of natural hazards result from the potential for extreme geographical events, to create an unexpected threat to human life and property (Smith, 2011). When severe floods occur in areas occupied by humans, they can create natural disasters which involve the loss of human life and property plus serious disruption to the ongoing activities of large urban and rural communities (Smith and Ward, 2010).
Conversely, besides the negative flood impact such as damage to houses and other buildings, loss of life, loss of jobs or income, disruption of the network of social contact, and interruption tonormal access to education, health and food services, there can be a variety of positive flood impacts, for instance, increased fertility of agricultural land (Parker, 2014). For poorer groups, some of the impacts are very direct, if flood becomes more frequent and hazardous. The urban poor are the most vulnerable socially, economically and physically to the impacts of extreme events and, to the impact of adverse environmental tendencies resulting from climate change such as flood, drought, increasing sea-level etc. Vulnerability, is a critical dimension of poverty, though synonymous with poverty, but refers to defenselessness and insecurity (Idowu, 2011). With the increasing number of urban dwellers worldwide, the number of people at risk or vulnerable to flood hazards is likely to increase. Any increase in disasters, whether large or small, will threaten development gains and hinder the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (Onisarotu, 2015). Disasters such as flooding, poses serious challenge to the economy of a nation. It must be noted that the economic environment of a nation consists of its financial systems, social welfare, power sector, transportation, investments, commerce, manufacturing, construction and banking among others.
Banire, (2011) asserted that disasters when they occur usually result in pains and huge losses to the economy and in most cases; it is always difficult to quantify the actual cost of damages and recovery. A single case of disaster such as the one that occurred in Lagos, Nigeria on July 10, 2011 actually destroyed several years of developmental efforts. In flood disaster, there are loss of lives, destruction of public utilities and disruption in the smooth functioning of the system that renders fear and uncertainties among the populace. In addition, there was loss of livelihoods, damage to the environment, financial loss, and diversion of resources, epidemics, migration, food shortages and displacement of the people. The impact can be very high in the urban areas, because the areas affected are densely populated and contain vital infrastructure such as in Ilaje community and others in Lagos state (Banire, 2011). A more disturbing issue is the lack of attention to the promotion of sustainable environmental management especially in disaster prone areas resulting in devastations which could have been averted. Flood is said to be the most significant effect of climate change on the poor (Idowu, 2011). It is caused from increased precipitation: therefore destroying infrastructure like roads, culverts, drainage systems, houses and water supply which can have knock-on effects on many parts of the study area. Damage to healthcare infrastructure will affect the health of the population and damage to roads can disrupt livelihoods and income. Four different types of flooding are evident in literature: localized flooding due to inadequate drainage system; flooding from small streams whose banks urban areas are built; and coastal flooding from the sea or through a combination of high tides and high river flows from inland (Fukushima, 2014).
More so, Floods are environmental hazards of meteorological phenomena, but very often induced by man’s improper utilization or abuse of the physical environment. Flooding can be defined as an overflow that comes from a riveror other body of water and causes or threatens damage (Adebayo &Jegede, 2010). Floods are among the mostdramatic forms of interaction between man and his environment. They occur both in the developed or developing world and are always associated with heavy loses of lives and properties, misery, hardship, diseases, and attimes, famine (Jegede, 2010).
Floods have benefits but also cause multiple problems. Floods occur world-wide, often after heavy rain in areas. Once the flood water clear away, it leaves behind a variety of different effects on the land, animals andpeople. While many people view flooding as having a solely negative effect, positive things can also result inaftermath of a flood. Flooding causes structural and environmental damage to landscape. Floods erode soil, oftenon a large scale bases. This displacement of soil leads to the weakening of structures like houses and bridges (Adebayo, 2010).
Ebisemiju, (2013) opines that the most significant impact of flooding arises from urbanization, because itinvolves deforestation, land-use changes, temperature modification of soil physical properties and structures and the exposure of bare soil surfaces especially of construction sites all of which bring about changes in the morphological and hydrological state of water. Flood waters can destroy homes and businesses; disrupt road, rail and communication lines, and rain crops and agricultural land. Floods can also disrupt drainage and sewage systems, presenting a serious healthhazard resulting from pollution and water borne-disease (Ebisemiju, 2013).
1.2 Statement of Problem
In recent times, in Nigeria flood displaced more than two million people as the flood gates on dams were opened to release rising waters along the Niger River. Flooding has also affected at least 300,000 people, submerging hundreds of Communities. Flooding has wreaked havoc across many other parts of Nigeria in recent years, including the following states: Lagos state, Anambra in the east, Sokoto in the northwest, Borno in the northeast, Plateau in the centre and Yobe in the north (Fukushima, 2014).
On the other hand, Igomu opined that they stand out like sour thumbs on every road, waiting to claim unwary victims. In the last few months, gridlocks on major roads crisscrossing the Lagos metropolis have been a major problem for most Lagos residents, causing them untold pain and anger. Since the nation’s economic capital and financial hub has been experiencing a near-daily downpour in the past weeks, traffic snarls on major roads have worsened (Igomu, (2015).Igomu further said that 2016 coming of the rainy season will further exposed the parlous state of roads in the state, with Lagosians having a rough time getting to their destinations because of the traffic crises. In Lagos, rainy days unleash harrowing experiences on motorists. For them, it’s as if the rains and potholes have conspired against them.
According to Ebisemiju, (2013) every year, especially before the rainy season commences, remedial works are done by the state and federal governments on major roads. But such efforts have not in any way addressed the situation as the problem resurfaces as soon as the construction works are over. Unfortunately, it is always the same spots that develop deep and deadly potholes(Ebisemiju, 2013). Ebisemiju went further todecry the increasing number of potholes along the Murtala Mohammed International Road, lamenting that the tyres of his vehicles have been destroyed on several occasions. He noted that it is not possible to avoid deep potholes close to the pedestrian bridge by Ajao-Estate gate along the airport road, noting that they have formed vicious rings on that spot.
Onisarotu, (2015) maintained that even though government had gone a long way in addressing this problem, the state is still shuddering under the yoke of bad roads. According to many residents, most of the major roads in the state, either newly constructed or refurbished, have failed considerably.The rainy season has cast serious doubts on how professional the infrastructural rehabilitation in the state has been. It shows that the state government has either not got it right or that it still has a long way to go,”Onisarotusuggested.
1.3 Objective of the study
The general objective of this research is to evaluate the challenges of poor drainage system and flood control in Lagos metropolis.
Specifically, the study sought:
- To find out the effect of poor drainage on the inhabitants of Lagos metropolis
- To find out whether people of Lagos are aware of the implications of flooding in their environment
- To evaluate the level of efficiency in the control and management of flood in Lagos metropolis.
- To investigate whether the techniques/ methods used or proffered by government are adequately creating awareness about the health implications of flood in Lagos metropolis
- To identify various ways the environmentalist/ policy makers could help in changing human behavior and responses to environment options that will help in dealing with flooding condition.
1.4 Research Questions
This study was designed to address the following questions:
- How does poor drainage system affect the inhabitants of Lagos metropolis?
- Do the people of Lagos metropolis aware of the implications of flooding in their environment?
- What is the level of efficiency of Lagos metropolis in the control of flood?
- Are the techniques/methods used or proffered by government adequately creating awareness about the health implications of flooding condition in Lagos metropolis?
- What ways could the environmentalist/ policy makers help in changing human behavior and responses to environmental options that will help in dealing with flooding condition.
1.5 Statement of research hypotheses
- There is no significant relationship between poor drainage system and flooding affecting the inhabitants of Lagos metropolis
- There no significant relationship between awareness of the implications of flooding and its prevention
1.6 Significance of the study
The study would be utilized by the government at both Federal and the state levels through their various Ministries like, Ministry of Environment, Education, Health and Information. It will be beneficial for these ministries in the area of policy formation, most especially in the area of educating public in the schools and out-of-school. It will assist them when formulating laws that will promote human health and protect the environment. The citizenry will also benefit greatly from this study, as the study will reveal how a person’s carefree attitude about the environment can be costly not only to himself but others. Non-governmental organization (NGO’s) in the areas of health and environment will also benefit. This study will guide them in the areas of production and distribution of educational materials to the public.
However, the information will go a long way in helping the teachers, most especially Adult educator, environmental educators and health educators will also benefit from the study in such a way that it would help them to emphasize the link between good health and clean environment. Media houses and others who are charged with the responsible of awareness creation will also benefit from the study.
challenges of poor drainage systems and floods control in lagos metropolis, nigeria