Onuesoke Foundation Releases Guidelines Against Flooding In Delta State
With the raining season currently at its peak, a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO), Onuesoke Foundation saddled with the responsibilities of protecting the environment, has released guidelines on prevention and control of flooding.
Speaking on modalities of flood prevention and control, while delivering a lecture on ‘Rain, Flood and Environmental Impact’ in Awirhe a small farming community, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State, the Director of Operations of Onuesoke Foundation, Mrs. ugbobor Pearl Igho who traced causes of flooding to heavy rainfall, severe winds over water, unusual high tides, tsunamis, failure of dams, or other structures that retained the water, said methods of flood control include planting vegetation to retain extra water, terracing hillsides to slow flow downhill, construction of floodways, levees, lakes, dams, reservoirs and retention ponds to hold extra water during times of flooding.
Referring to the Northern part of Nigeria that need water for farming in dry season, Pearl explained that during rainy season, excess water can be used for groundwater replenishment by diverting it onto land that can absorb the water, adding that this technique can reduce the impact of later droughts by using the ground as a natural reservoir.
This technique is being used in California where orchards and vineyards can be flooded without damaging crops,[ or in other places wilderness areas have been re-engineered to act as floodplains,” she explained.
To those residing in the riverine area, Pearl said because river side are prone to floods, she advised that defenses such as levees, bunds, reservoirs, and weirs should be used to prevent rivers from bursting their banks.
“Coastal flooding has been addressed in Europe and the Americas with coastal defences, such as sea walls, beach nourishment, and barrier islands. Tide gates can be used in conjunction with dykes and culverts. They should be placed at the mouth of streams or small rivers, where an estuary begins or where tributary streams, or drainage ditches connect to sloughs,” she advised.
She cautioned that another way of reducing the damage caused by flooding is to remove buildings from flood-prone areas, leaving them as parks or returning them to wilderness, adding stressing that buildings and other urban infrastructure can be designed so that even if a flood does happen, the city can recover quickly and costs minimized.
Igho Pearl who observed the need for an effective community based early warning system for flood prevention and control for Nigeria cannot be over emphasized, called for adequate sensitization of people who are often affected by flood menace towards adopting environmental best practices as mentioned above.
“Sedimentation and littering of the drainage systems should be guided against, while vegetation like trees whose rooting system tends to or likely to distort, break or undermine the drainage system should be removed” she said.
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