Evaluating the Effects of Flooding in Six Communities in Awka Anambra State of Nigeria
This study evaluated the effects of flooding in six Communities of Awka including Agulu, Amaenyi, Ezi-Awka, Amikwo, Ifite and Nkwelle. The questionnaire survey method was adopted in which questionnaire was employed in collecting the data from the respondents which was later collated and analyzed. The postulated hypotheses was tested using T-test and the result showed that there is no significant difference in the effects of flooding in the six communities studied in Awka. The study concluded therefore that the effects of the flooding in the six communities in Awka are the same, and some of the major effects of flooding in the communities in Awka include: road congestion, accident, damage of buildings, destruction of properties, health problems, reduction of aesthetic beauty of the environment, increase in poverty level and death. The study thus recommends that the masses be conscientized about these harmful effects of flooding in the area and their role in fighting flooding through a collaboration with the government and non-governmental organizations or an integrated approach. The awareness of the masses on the dangers facing them will cause them to take up their responsibilities and join forces with the government and non-gorvernmental bodies to contain the menace.
1.1.Background of the Study
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 river or other body of water and causes or threatens damage. (Adebayo and Jegede, 2010). Floods are among the most dramatic 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 at times, famine.
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 and people. While many people view flooding as having a solely negative effect, positive things can also result in aftermath of a flood. Flooding causes structural and environmental damage to landscape. Floods erode soil, often on a large scale bases. This displacement of soil leads to the weakening of structures like houses and bridges. Ebisemiju (1993), opines that the most significant impact of flooding arises from urbanization, because it involves 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 health hazard resulting from pollution and water borne-disease. Flooding of river is a natural phenomenon. The damage caused by flooding however has increased due to decreasing space for rivers and growing population pressure on valley grounds and wetlands It is now generally accepted that increasing urban coverage and other development have led to a worldwide increase in both the risk and economic burden of floods.
Flooding and excessive rainfall have caused massive erosion landslides and loss of soil nutrient in places in Anambra state especially Awka, resulting to other environmental problems.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Recently, in Northern Nigeria, flood displaced more than two million people as the flood gates on Challawa and Tiga dams were opened to release rising waters along the Niger River. Flooding has also affected at least 300,000 people, submerging hundreds of Communities in Niger State . Flooding has wreaked havoc across many other parts of Nigeria in recent years, including the following states: Anambra in the east, Sokoto in the northwest, Borno in the northeast, Plateau in the centre and Yobe in the north.
Over the years in Anambra State, flood has remained a worrisome natural problem which successive governments in the State could not effectively solve. Flood therefore is still a problem in areas like Awka, Oko, Onitsha, Agamelu, Aguleri, Umuleri, and Adani. In most areas of the state, such as Awka, Oko and Onitsha, flooding has posed a major concern to the occupants of properties. The access roads to some of these properties