THE IMPACT OF FLOODING ON RURAL COMMUNITIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE  

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THE IMPACT OF FLOODING ON RURAL COMMUNITIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

CONTENT                                                                                          PAGES

Title page   –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         i

Declaration          –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         ii

Dedication –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         iii

Acknowledgement        –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         iv

Abstract     –         –         –         –         –         —       –         –         –         –         v

Table of content  –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         vi

INTRODUCTION –         –         –         –         –         –         –          1
The Study Area –         –         –         –         –         –         –          5
Sources of flooding –         –         –         –         –         –          –         9
Causes of flooding –         –         –         –         –         –          –         10
Factors that Determine the Effects of Flooding – –          –         11
Types of flooding –         –         –         –         –          –         12
Benefits of flooding –         –         –         –         –         –          –         15
The Effects of Flooding –         –         –         –         –          –         16
The impact of Flooding in Rural Communities in Akwa Ibom State 17
Social impacts of flooding –         –         –         –         –   -21
Economic impacts –         –         –         –         –         –    -22
Non-economic losses –         –         –         –         –         –          23
Impacts on physical and psychological health –         –          –         24
Impacts associated with evacuation and temporary accommodation 25
Household disruption –         –         –         –         –         –          26
Community and neighbourhood changes –         –          –         27
Methods of Flood Control in Rural communities in Akwa Ibom State – 27
Flood warning –         –         –         –         –         –         –          30
Preventive and Mitigating Measures Against Flooding –   –         31
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1 Conclusion-   –         –         –         –         –         –         –         –         35

3.2 Recommendation    –         –         –         –         –         –         –         36

References

1.1 Introduction

Flood is the overflow of water into an environment that is normally dry thereby causing inundation and harm to plants and animals, including man. Its harm can be extended to man’s buildings and infrastructures (Udosen, 2011). Most flood definitions include damage they cause and depend on their sources or types and magnitude. In the case of flood resulting from rivers, Ating (2003) defines it as a relatively high flow which overtakes the natural channels provided for run–off as well as a high stream which overtops its natural or artificial banks. Wolf (1965) also describes flood as high rate of discharge in water sources and the inundation of normally dry lands. West (1991) further states that flood is a body of water which rises to overflow its banks or low-lying areas. All over the world, flood is known to cause great damage to people’s lives, belongings and properties. Flood causes one third of deaths, one third of all injuries and one third of all damage from natural disasters (Etuonovbe, 2011). This damage is normally felt by various “receptors” being people, buildings, infrastructure, agriculture, and open recreational spaces. Even social and emotional costs from flooding are significant and are often widespread and indiscriminate in flooded areas. They include: displacement from homes, loss of personal valuables, fear and insecurity caused by such experience. The economy can be serially affected by flooding as businesses may lose patronage, stock, data and productivity. Tourism, farming and livestock can equally be affected. Utilities and transport infrastructure can be rendered inefficient by flood. Portable water supplies may be contaminated in a flood which has immediate health effects upon human beings and animals. Other vital infrastructures may also be damaged just like the loss of electricity experienced in Britain in 2007 summer floods (RIBA, 2009). Even in a developed country such as the United Kingdom, the Association of British Insurers has estimated the cost of the July, 2007 flooding, in insurance claims alone at over 3 billion pounds (RIBA, 2011). The pattern of flooding is similar in all parts of the world. In Nigeria for instance, flooding has forced millions of people out from their homes, destroyed businesses, pollute water sources, and increased the risk of diseases (Baiye, 1988, Akinyemi, 1990, Nwaubani, 1991 and Edward- Adebiyi, 1997).

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 (Thompson, 1964). Flood could be seen as one of the most common natural disasters in the world. Flood is one of natural hazards result from the potential for extreme geographical events, to create an unexpected threat to human life and property (Welch et. al., 1977). 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, 1998).

However, 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 to normal access to education, health and food services, there can be a variety of positive flood impacts, for instance, increased fertility of agricultural land (Parker et al. 1987). For poorer groups, some of the impacts are very direct, if flood becomes more frequent and hazardous. The rural 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 rural 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 Millennium Development Goals (UN-ISDR, 2008). 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.

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 rural areas, because the areas affected are defenseless, lack necessary facilities for control of flooding and may contain vital natural resources such as good farm land, mineral resources, water bodies rich in fishing and other natural ecosystems. 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.

Localized flooding occurs many times a year in many informal settlements such as those in the rural community in Akwa Ibom State, because there are few or no drains (or those that exist are blocked), most of the ground is highly compacted and pathways between dwellings become streams after heavy rain.

The rural poor in Akwa Ibom State particularly refers to a sub-population characterized by various forms of social deprivation, such feature, include low education, low and unstable income, struggle for survival and a spatial housing location with all the characteristics of slums, shanty towns or squatter settlements as epitomized by the rural communities in Akwa Ibom State. Based on the foregoing, this study is to examine the impact of flooding on rural communities in Akwa Ibom State with the view to evolving a framework for proper mitigation and adaptation.

 

1.1.1 The Study Area

The Research is on the impact of Flooding on Rural Communities in Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Ibom is a state in Nigeria. It is located in the coastal part of the country, lying between latitudes 4°32′N and 5°33′N, and longitudes 7°25′E and 8°25′E. The state is bordered on the east by Cross River State, on the west by Rivers State and Abia State, and on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and the southernmost tip of Cross River State. Akwa Ibom is one of Nigeria’s 36 states, with a population of over 5 million people and more than 10 million people in diaspora. It was created in 1987 from the former Cross River State and is currently the highest oil- and gas-producing state in the country. The state’s capital is Uyo, with over 500,000 inhabitants. Along with English, the main spoken languages are Ibibio, Annang, Eket and Oron language (Udosen, 2011).

Akwa Ibom State consists of thirty-one (31) local government areas. They are: Abak , Eastern Obolo, Eket, Esit-Eket, Essien Udim, Etim-Ekpo, Etinan, Ibeno, Ibesikpo-Asutan, Ibiono-Ibom, Ika, Ikono, Ikot Abasi, Ikot Ekpene, Ini, Itu, Mbo, Mkpat-Enin, Nsit-Atai, Nsit-Ibom, Nsit-Ubium, Obot-Akara, Okobo, Onna, Oron, Oruk Anam, Ukanafun, Udung-Uko, Uruan, Urue-Offong/Oruko, and Uyo.

Despite the rapid development of Akwa Ibom State, the greater percentage of the state falls into rural communities. The ecological problems cannot be directly linked to population pressure, steep marginal lands around the rural communities in Akwa Ibom State which should otherwise be conserved, are developed due to increased need for sites for housing and other architectural developments apart from cultivation. The consequences of this practice are well known.

Figure 1: Flood affected area at Ukana Ikot Akpan Road in Ikpe Annang, Essien L.G.A

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THE IMPACT OF FLOODING ON RURAL COMMUNITIES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

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