10 Ways to Prevent Flooding In Nigeria

Have you ever experienced the agony of living in a flooded community?

Within few hour of heavy rain; lives are lost, properties are gone, heavy traffic jam, the frightening of destruction.

Flooding is a common natural disaster in Nigeria, both in the rural and urban areas which affect millions of people around the globe.

Read Also: 10 Ways to Prevent Flooding In Nigeria

10 Ways to Prevent Flooding In Nigeria
Flood in Nigeria – Photo Source: http://dailypost.ng

This post is relevant to the below search queries:

  1. Flood causes and prevention
  2. Solutions to flooding
  3. Methods of controlling flood
  4. Effects of Flood

So what’s flood?

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Flood is a large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry. Communities that are affected by flood are low lying areas and land area closer to a water body.

Victims of flood have been forced to forsake their house, property and seek for shelter elsewhere.

Businesses have been destroyed because of flood. The need for immediate action is important; in order to mitigate the issue.

Source: nema.gov.ng

How it works?

Soil types/land has a specific water holding capacity. If the rainfall exceeds the water holding capacity of a land, it results to flood. Here’s what I mean.

Water holding capacity is the amount of water a land can absorb, contain or hold without surface runoff.  Once the land water holding capacity is filled, water starts to rise above the ground level resulting to surface runoff.

Loamy soil has the highest water holding capacity followed by sandy soil and finally clay soil. This characteristic accounts for the ability of loamy soil to absorb a lot of water and nutrient.

Causes of flood in Nigeria

1. Poor drainage system

Some of the drainage system in Nigeria are not constructed and maintained well. Rural and urban dwellers misuse the drainage by dropping refuse, sewage; reducing it effectiveness and capacity to allow flow of water.

2. Severe winds

The shorelines of lakes and bays can be flooded by severe winds such as during hurricanes.

It all boils down to this:

3. Heavy rain

Heavy rain comes with severe winds like tornado; flooding the community. Heavy rain is the major cause of flood.

Read Also: 10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Land In Nigeria

Here’s the big secret:

Floods can be easily and effectively controlled. Developed countries have successfully prevented flood during heavy rain and climatic change. These methods used can be implemented in Nigeria.

 Smart Ways to Prevent Flood in Nigeria

 1. Construction of Dam

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground stream. It’s an effective way of flood control. Dams were originally built especially for flood control in developed countries.

Source: Wikipedia.org

How it’s works?

Many large dams have flood control reservation in which the level of a reservoir must be kept below a certain point before the rainy season.

During the rainy season, flood water is allowed to fill the dam restricting them from destroying lives and properties.

So what’s my point?

Consider the dam as an open tank filled with water. Before the rainy season, the tank is emptied in order to create space for rain water during the raining season; reducing flood in the community.

2. Improve Flood warning system

Flood warning system is a way of detecting threatening events in advance. This warns the public in advance so that actions can be taken to reduce the adverse effect. Properly conveying advance warnings of impending storms and floods will not only give people the opportunity to be proactive in preventing damage to their property, it will save lives.

Warning signs should be indicated in areas prone to flood; preventing interested buyers from falling victim of such area. Its also warns drivers to avoid that route.

Read Also: 10 Problems of Transportation in Nigeria

3. Construction of River Defence

Do you know that developed countries restrict the flow of river into low lying lands with the use of wall-like structures known as defences.

The same way we fence our house, farmland; we fence rivers also.

Major defences used are: Levees and Dykes.

Levees and dykes occur naturally; rocks act as dykes, restricting the flow of water.

Levees and dykes are also manmade structures built solely for the purpose of preventing floods.

They are channeled into outfall drains.

4. Flood Resilience

Flood resilience is the capacity to recover from flood. This is an efficient method compared to river defence.

Buildings and other urban infrastructures should be designed or structured strategically; making it easier it recover from flood. For example, water proofing homes and businesses and moving electrical sockets higher.

Green roofs should be implemented. Here’s what I mean.

It’s the process of building houses with vegetative roofs. Vegetative roofs, contains soil: which absorbs rain water reducing flood.

But, it’s expensive to build and maintain.

5. Create Flood Plains

Flood plains are lands that have the capacity of absorbing large amount of water. It’s diverts water from flooded communities; reducing the flood.

This is a method of conservation as flood plains are used as natural reservoir; where communities can fall back on during drought.

In some countries, wilderness and deserts have been re-engineered to act as flood plains. This should be looked into in Nigeria.

Flood plains also serve as natural habitat for aquatic animals.

6. Preservation of Wetlands and Planting of Trees

Reforestation should be encouraged in Nigeria. Reforestation a term for planting of trees; reduces the impact of flood. The trees absorb water, slowing down the overflow of rivers to neighboring communities.

Wetlands which soak up moisture and wooden areas: slow down flood when river overflows.

In one sentence, creating wetlands and reforestation is a good environmental practice.

Read Also: Challenges Facing Internally displaced Persons in Nigeria

7. Diverting Canals

Canal is a man-made water way. Canals deliver water from flooded communities to a city where water is needed. Canals can link several cities together. Here’s what I mean.

Canal can link Ibadan to Ogun state; crowning it’s efficiency.

Floods can be controlled by redirecting excess water to purpose-built canal. Canal is also used to confine or lock water.

8. Improve Drainage System

Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of water from surface and sub surface area. This traditional method of controlling flood, has now been improved are well structured to drain flood water.

There are two types of drainage system based on shape and mode. These are: Grid and Random. (I leave this to another day.)

Improved drainage system involves cleaning drainage system regularly in order to remove the debris. It’s a common environmental practice in the community. Improving the drainage system; makes it more effective and efficient.

Here’s something we can both agree on:

9. Environmental Sanitation

It seems like an obvious measure, but sanitation is imperative on this list.

Here’s why?

Refuse and sewages block the drainage system and canal pathway, preventing the flow of water; making them inefficient.

Canals, drainage should always be cleaned regularly; removing debris e.t.c

People should be warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse and sewage in the community, canal.

The big secret is: this is the cheapest way of preventing flood in Nigeria.

10. Take Action

Having read this, I not taking action is the most expensive on this list. The desire of living in a heaven on earth community cannot be a reality not until you arise from that helpless state and take action.

Seek Help

To call the attention of the government, visit

NESREA   and Nigeria Environment

Go Ahead and Tell Me

If there’s any preventive measure I missed, go ahead and tell me using the comment-box. I will update this post depending on your comment. If you need help, do not hesitate to contact me using the comment- box also.

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Akinduyo Eniola

Akinduyo Eniola is a Content Developer at InfoGuideNIgeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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