The Association of Nigerian Geographers (ANG) has expressed deep concerns over alleged failure by the federal and state governments to reduce flood disasters in the country.
According to the group, the recent climate change challenges and the impacts all over the world have assumed severe, excessive and unusual pattern, yet they have not been taken serious by the Nigerian government. ANG urged authorities to wake up to the realities of the scary situation, noting that many of such incidents have been occurring without any serious step taken to arrest them.
The association blamed non-availability of adequate and accurate environmental indices required by engineers to design storm water infrastructures, absence of geographic and ecological data required to form the basis of the depth, width and other design characteristics as worsening the situation.In a statement by its president, Prof. ‘Kayode Oyesiku, ANG commiserated with families of the victims of the recent flood disasters, caused by heavy downpour, that devastated some communities across the country, particularly in some parts of Ogun and Kastina states, killing some residents.
The association said the high magnitude rainstorm were inevitable, but the flood afterwards were preventable if local accurate data were available. “The Average Recurrence Interval (ARI) of such a rain event has, however, not been calculated for lack of local meteorological and weather statistics and forecast. Therefore, this type of disasters are generally attributed to inadequate and poor weather forecasting strategies and to a large extent inadequate design parameters for the drainage channels as well as inadequate construction and maintenance of drainage infrastructures especially by ensuring that they are not turned to solid waste collection centres.”
The association noted that the entire areas affected during the disaster, being urban built up land-use, have major watercourse draining through to empty runoff into the rivers and as such any obstructions would always result in such a devastating hazard.It blamed the magnitude of the flood disaster on lack of synergy among the built environment professionals and state governments in terms of master plan design and implementation.