The Internet went agog when news filtering out of Lagos showed how the metropolis was immersed in water due to flooding some months back. Picture evidence shows reptiles having a field day in some residences, and videos of Lagosians using boats on the streets of Lagos became widespread. Unfortunately, due to its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and other reasons, it has to turn into a yearly occurrence where motor vehicles get spoilt, businesses grounded, adverse health conditions rise, and lives get lost.
Yobe state was at the receiving end of the deadly consequences of the flooding in July when 11 local governments in the state were ravaged. In addition, a significant bridge collapsed, and quite a large number of people were relocated after they were homeless due to the intense rainfall that occurred in the month.
To the dismay of fellow residents in the North, especially in Jigawa state, recent rain, which has been falling in torrents, claimed the lives of 50 people in the flooding incident that happened last week.
Although the body in charge of obtaining and disseminating all meteorological data, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, had predicted heavy rainfall in the state and other surrounding areas, the information wasn’t enough for residents as the rain wreaked havoc in the places in the state.
Last week’s occurrence was the first to have occurred this month. Earlier this month, seven residents lost their lives, and various residential properties were destroyed after intense flooding happened on the first day of the new month. In addition, 7 out of the 27 local governments in the states namely Kirikasamma, Jahun, Dutse, Guri, Gwaram, Auyo and Kafin Hausa were heavily affected as farmlands were destroyed, crops suffered devastating and irredeemable damages, hundreds of people were displaced, and more were hospitalized.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, constructed a 4.5 kilometers barrage. This initiative was built to mitigate the effect of annual flooding in the area. To an extent, the project was able to salvage farmlands and some houses in the state. However, this seems to be a temporary fix as excessive rainfall tends to negate the effect of this infrastructure.
Cosmetics changes will not solve the effect of these intense flooding crises that rock Jigawa states and other adjacent states in the area. Proper planning has to be enforced to ensure that the impact of the flooding has to be reduced to the barest minimum.
Proper drainage must be constructed all over the state to allow easy free water flow during the dry and rainy seasons. This procedure is to allow the passage of excess water in case of heavy or turbulent rainfall. Existing drainage structures also have to be cleared as the blockage accumulates flood water which is detrimental to the environment.
Canals, essentially large water channels, should also be constructed in strategic areas in the states, especially flood-sensitive regions or areas that are more prone to flooding.
These structures will go a long way in mitigating the effect of the floods, reduce the risk of loss of lives and properties and alleviate the conditions of residents in the states.