Flooding is a situation that occurs when land that is usually dry is covered with water of a river overflow or heavy rainfall. Floods are among the most devastating natural disasters in the world, claiming more lives and causing more property damage than any other natural phenomena. In Nigeria, flooding and erosion constitutes the most critical elements of coastal hazards. Though not leading in terms of claiming lives, floods affect and displace more people than any other disaster; they also cause more damage to properties. At least 20% of the population is at risk from one form of flood or another. This study examines peoples’ perception on the effects of flood in the riverine areas of the Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. Flooding has profound effects on the area regarding: loss of properties, destruction of food crops, biodiversity loss, increased erosion, land and water pollution, spread of water borne diseases, reduction in economic activities, and in severe cases loss of lives and destruction of entire settlements, etc. The effects are occasioned by natural and human factors. Data were collected through questionnaire and interview methods. The chi-square statistical technique was used to analyse the data. The study indicates that: the people at the study area perceive the effects of flooding differently. Those that are married, and especially farmers, perceive floods to be destructive, while the single people, those that are employed in government offices, and the people of the kolo creek who are not seriously affected by floods perceive floods to be less destructive. Those who live along Ekole creek generally see floods as much more destructive than those far away from Ekole creek. These differences occur as a result of the difference in the levels of responsibilities, and occupational and terrain characteristics. However, there is a general perception that flooding is destructive to those who live by the river bank (flood plains). The study suggests a number of ways for ameliorating the devastating effects of floods. These approaches include: flood plain zoning, channelization, pilling and construction of dykes, encouragement of people to take up flood insurance, and setting up a flood victims’ relief and rehabilitation fund to relieve the peoples’ burden.
|Keywords:||Flood in Ogbia LGA, Niger Delta Environment, Flood Management, Flood Perceptions|
PhD Researcher, Faculty of Advanced Technology, Department of Environmental Management, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, South Wales, UK
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Faculty of Advanced Technology, University of Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Lecturer II, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, Bayelsa Sate, Nigeria