This study examined the effects of flooding in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State and the Socio-economic effect on the people. Data for this study was gathered from the inhabitant of the study area, field trip, and from secondary sources. The data collected were analysed using simple percentages. It was found that flooding in the study area led to enormous socio-economic loss, which led to inflation and ecological damage.
1.1Background of the Study
Flooding can be defined as a temporary rise of the water level, as in a river or lake or along a seacoast, resulting in its spilling over and out of its natural or artificial confines onto land that is normally dry (America heritage Science dictionary, 2010).
Floods are sometimes described according to their statistical occurrence, a fifty-year flood is a flood having a magnitude that is reached in a particular location on average once every fifty years, In any given year there is a two percent statistical change of the occurrence of a fifty year flood and a one percent chance of a hundred year flood. (America heritage Science dictionary, 2010).
Flood is an overflowing or irruption of great body of water over land not usually submerged (Oxford English Dictionary, 2010). It is an extreme weather event naturally caused by rising global temperature which results in heavy downpour, thermal expansion of the ocean and glacier melt, which in turn result to rise in sea level, thereby causing salt water to inundate coastal lands (Smith, 1996). Flooding is the most common of all environmental hazards and it regularly claims over 20,000 lives per year and adversely affects around 75 million people world-wide (Smith, 1996).
Across the globe, floods have posed tremendous dangers to people’s lives and properties, floods cause about one third of all deaths, one third of all injuries and one third of all damage from natural disasters (Askew, 1999).
In Nigeria, the pattern is similar with the rest of world, Flooding in various parts of Nigeria have forced millions of people from their homes, destroyed businesses, polluted water resources and increased the risk of diseased the risk of disease (Baiye et al, 1988). Ologunorisa, (2001) defined Flood as any abnormally high water stage which may result in significant, detrimental effects such as property damage, traffic destruction, nuisance and health hazard. When flooding affected Rivers State at least 12 persons lost their lives in Ubie Clan in Ahoada Local Government Area between September 23rd to October 21st 2012 (Child Protection Network, 2012).The 2012 flood affected most of the coastal states in Nigeria, but the worst hit were those along the River Niger tributaries, like Kogi, Edo State, Delta State Anambra State, virtually every geographical location in Nigeria as in one time or the other suffered from flooding, from the North in Niger State where Flood and rainstorm destroyed houses, schools, farmlands, and displaced 200,000 people in 1999 and 2000 (Etuonovbe, 2011).
Ogunpa Flood in Ibadan Oyo State as occurred repeatedly from 1948, 1963, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1987 and 1990 and this led to the destruction of 500 houses and about 50000 people were affected (Etuonovbe, 2011).
The flooding situation in Isoko South is so pathetic that the people have now turned to refugees in their own land due to the calamity in the land occasioned by flooding. The massive 2012 flood swept away 50 Isoko Communities.
According to encyclopedia Britannica (2013), the Isoko people of the Northwestern part of Niger Delta in Nigeria, speaking a language of the Kwa branch of the Niger – Congo Family. The Isoko economy is based on fishing, farming and the production of palm oil and kernels, the main food crops are yams and cassava supplemented by corn (maize), beans, pepper and groundnut (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013). The Isoko South Local Government area covers a low-lying section of the larger Niger Delta Basin, interspersed with streams, pools and rivers, it is located in a region of deciduous and evergreen forests, with patches of mangrove forest, as well as a forest reserve along the Aviara Clan Area(Wikipedia, 2013).
As a result of the flooding of oil field in Isoko South Local Government Area, Nigeria was loosing about N6.5 billion ($843m) daily to flood, The Countries daily production fell by about 18% from 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) to 2.1 bpd, (Department of Petroleum Resources, 2012).
The devastating effect of floods was not limited to houses and people. Many farmlands both arable and agro-forestry were swept away while schools and market places were submerged for weeks. Some animals lost their lives to flooding while many bridges collapsed and electric poles destroyed. (Etuonovbe, 2011).
The 2012 flooding was caused by the uncontrolled release of water from ladgo dam in Cameroon, in terms of response time of NEMA, so there was a lot that went wrong, take the case of the Niger Delta, the flood from the Northern part got to Lokoja and yet nobody anticipated that the flood was eventually going to be discharged into the Atlantic Ocean via the Niger Delta (Bassey, 2012).
Isoko South as a major tributary of River Niger which as a confluence with River Benue, which suffered the uncontrolled release of water from Ladgo dam, had it’s water level increased, which resulted in the 2012 flooding in the area (Bassey, 2012).
According to, the International Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, (2012) the different types of flood is defined below:
- Tidal Flooding: Both sea and river defenses may be overtopped or breached by a combination of low pressure weather systems and peak high tides. Storms with high wind speeds cause tall and powerful waves and low pressure fronts cause sea levels to rise above normal levels.
- Fluvial Flooding: Flooding occurs in the floodplains of rivers when the capacity of water courses is exceeded as a result of rainfall or snow and ice melts within catchment areas further upstream. Blockages of water courses and flood channels or tide locking may also lead to ponging and rising water levels.
- Flash Flooding: Flash flooding can occur in steep catchments and is far more immediate. Flooding from rivers, particularly, in recognized floodplains, can usually be predicted with good accuracy.
- Pluvial Flooding: surface water flooding is caused by rainwater run-off from urban and rural land with low absorbency. Increased intensity of development in urban areas has given rise to land with a larger proportion of non – permeable surfaces, a problem often exacerbated by overloaded and out-dated drainage infrastructure.
1.2 Hypothesis/Research Question
The following research questions were formulated:
- That flooding has direct effect on buildings, with areas having poor drainage system suffering as a result of flooding, and those with mud houses.
- Flooding has direct effect on market price (inflation).
- Flooding leads to health and mortality problem.
- The rate of recovery is low due to lack of government assistance
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to have an indebt look at the problem of flooding in Isoko South and to look at both the Social and Economic effect.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is to help mitigate against future occurrence of flooding in Isoko South Local Government Area and also to act as a guide for public enlightenment.
1.5 Scope of the Study
This study covers the ten affected clans in Isoko South Local Government Area, which are Oleh, Aviara, uzere, Emede, Olomoro, Igbide, Umeh, Erohwa, Enwhe and Irri.
Isoko South Map
The aim of this work is to evaluate the social and economic consequences of flood in Isoko South. To achieve this aim the following objectives will be examined these area:
- To examine the cause of the flood
- To evaluate the social consequences of the flood
- To evaluate the economic consequences of the flood
- To evaluate the coping mechanism of the people
- To make recommendations based on the research findings
1.7 Definition of Terms
Flooding can be defined as a temporary rise of the water level, as in river or lake or along a seacoast, resulting in its spilling over and out of its natural or artificial confines onto land that is normally dry. (American heritage science Dictionary 2010).
Anthropogenic: this can be defined as human induced or as environmental changes caused by man e.g. deforestation.
Climate change: this is the increase in temperature as a result of the destruction ozone in the stratosphere.