Flood Control And Management: Beyond Palliatives And Flood Politics

By Dr. Inenyo Esinte.

Flood is a hydrological disaster that adversely affects and impacts man and his environment, causing mortifying, annihilating, and devastating calamities on man.

The occurrence of floods in Nigeria has become an annual routine in the past decades and counting, with no near-permanent control and mitigation solutions. Flood-affected and impacted Nigerians are only left to count their losses, with repeated promises of permanent solutions by government, with no palpable and productive control measures to control and mitigate future flood occurrences.

To some government officials and politicians, the yearly occurrence of floods has created an array of self-serving political opportunities to mismanage, embezzle, divert, and loot public funds in the guise and pretense of flood control and management for personal and selfish purposes.

Some public officers have made and commonized the control and management of floods to mere annual seasonal ritual of sharing palliatives for flood victims, where in some scenarios, the flood victims don’t even receive the palliatives that are due them, this flood palliative syndrome and mentality, is now the norm with no practical, achievable, and result-oriented flood control and management approaches.

Normally, the construction of public infrastructure of any magnitude by civil engineering design should have strong consideration in overcoming some destructive natural and man-made forces and factors such as floods, but in several cases, the reverse is routine in the construction of most public infrastructure in Nigeria, thus making most public infrastructure unusable and even destroyed when mother flood greets.

It is sad, pitiable, and pathetic that Nigeria is now at the mercy of Cameroon in the yearly routine of Ladgo Dam water control, causing immense damage to lives, and properties in several states across Nigeria with no permanent flood control and preventive measures, workable solutions are required far beyond our routine reactionary, and unproductive actions to flood menace in Nigeria.

Nationally, providing a lasting solution to flood disasters in Nigeria requires thoughtful, purpose-driven, expert input, achievable and collective, and all-inclusive national flood control master plan, and framework over a specified period with continuous monitoring and evaluation for success.

Thus, all tiers of government and respective ministries agencies, and departments must collectively, and actively play specific lead roles in flood control and management in Nigeria.

Climate change is real with its attendant environmental calamities and emergencies, hence governments at all levels must also brace up to proactively forestall these rapidly emerging, and ravaging climate change environmental disasters and emergencies, it can no longer be business as usual in the control and management of floods in Nigeria moving forward if we are truly and sincerely interested in proffering lasting solutions to annual flood threats to lives and properties.

Environmental engineering experts’ conceptualization, design, and construction of floods control, prevention and mitigation-proven infrastructure such as Dams, floodgates, Levees, Bunds, Weirs, Reservoirs, community-based flood shelters, functional drainages, channels, and other flood-proof public infrastructure for result-oriented, permanent flood control and management cannot be overstated and overstressed.

Government at all tiers must be deeply concerned and involved in flood control and management, the battle against annual recurrent floods must be taken seriously, beyond flood politics and sharing of flood palliatives.

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