THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FLOODING ON TRANSPORTATION LANDUSE IN BENIN CITY, NIGERIA

THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FLOODING ON TRANSPORTATION LANDUSE IN BENIN CITY, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

 Environmental problems of flooding on transportation land use manifest as a result of different land use activities of man to earn his living and his livelihood. Natural surfaces were replaced by more impermeable roads and concrete which have very low infiltration capacity, which have hydrological consequences of resulting into flooding problems in the Benin City metropolis. Data for this study were collected through the administration of 200 questionnaires, using the random sampling technique on respondents and through the physical survey of the study area. Simple percentages were used to analyze the data. Two hypotheses were formulated. The student ‘t’ test statistical method was used to test the hypotheses. Results from this study show that illegal disposal of refuse on drainage channels, high intensity of rainfall, the absence or infective drainage channels, poor construction of roads and building of houses on stream channels were identified as the causes of flooding on transportation land use in the study area. The study recommends that good road construction works, controlled dump sites, and timely response of the town planning authority to flooding menace should be carried out as a matter of urgency to tackle the environmental problems of flooding on transportation land use in benin city, nigeria.

1.0 INTRODUCTION

In general, the environment provides all life support system in the air, water, on land and in the forests (Glasson et al; 1999). However, the Nigeria environment generally, and Benin City in Edo State in particular, today presents a grim litany of woes across the length and breath of the country. Environmental problems therefore manifest as a result of different land use activities of man to earn his living and his livelihood. In the urban land use, deforestation has become a peculiar problem in Nigeria and Benin City in particular, which results from uncontrolled logging and tree felling for the purpose of urban development. In many parts of the Southern States of Nigeria, this goes with its loss of precious biological diversity. Afolabi (2005) noted that the environment is itself, the point in which one is found ata time, the surroundings, the more distant places, other earth components, conditions, prospects and problems which account for its flourishing or otherwise. Flooding can be described as high water stage in which water overflows its natural or artificial banks on the normally dry land, such as stream or river  inundating its adjacent lowlands.

In this regard, geophysical hazards can be wrought on civil artifacts, facilities, other aspects of human activities and occasionally loss of human lives may be incurred, (www.vision 2010.org, 2009).  Adebayo (1987) recognized four major mechanisms for the increase in the flooding potentials of urban catchments. The first one is increasing the percentage of impervious surface that infiltrates in the ground and increase in the total volume of runoff. Secondly, paving, straightening or otherwise improving stream channels, all of which reduces the time lag between rainfall and channel runoff. Thirdly, landscaping and subdivision of land into building sites, a process that shortens the distance over which the water flows before reaching drainage way and hence reduces the time lag between rainfall and channel runoff. Lastly, filling in and human settlement on flood plains, which reduces the space available for storing flood waters. African Research Review Vol. 4(1) January, 2010. Pp. 390-400

The phenomenon of flood hazards, according to Ward (1978), comprises several aspects including structural damage, loss of lives and properties, disruption of socio-economic activities including transport, communication and the destruction of agricultural land. According to Ayoade (1979), floods are natural phenomena rather than natural disasters. They, like drought, form part of the normally occurring range of stream flow conditions. Flood disasters are man-made as they occur when and where man puts himself at risk by developing and occupying floodable areas, there by causing damage, congestion and hold ups to the transportation networks in the area. Man, therefore, develops and occupies flood plains, at risk of flooding, out of ignorance or for economic reasons.

The basic cause of urban flooding is man’s modification of the basin network and channels characteristics during the process of settlement on the particular flood plain (Adeleke, 1978). Natural surfaces are replaced by more impermeable roads and concrete which have very low infiltration capacity. The hydrological consequences of this is that water which should normally infiltrate into the ground or be intercepted by vegetation and then delay for some time before running, would be immediately available for runoff. This considerably decreases the lag time between rainfall and storm water and increase the runoff with concomitant increase in peak discharge and total volume of runoff (Adeleke, 1978).

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Land has been man most valued asset over the years because it is believed that land as a factor of production always appreciate in value irrespective of the fact that it is limited in supply, however land as other factor of production do also depreciate in value, this depreciation comes as a result of flooding, pollution and degradation.

The environmental impact of flooding on transportation land use has becomes cumbersome due to the ever increasing population growth.

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aim of this study is to investigate the propelling environmental mechanisms of flooding prevalent in the Benin City Metropolis as they affect transportation land use. The specific objectives of this study are to:-

1.   Identify the causes of flooding prevalent on transportation land use in Benin City.

2.    Examine the environmental problems of flooding on transportation land use in Benin City.

3.   . Recommend possible control measures on the problems of flooding on transportation land use in Benin City. The Environmental Impact of Flooding on Transportation Land Use…

1.4       RESEARCH QUESTION

For the successful completion of this study, the following research questions were formulated:

i)             What is the causes of flooding prevalent on transportation land use in Benin City?

ii)           What is the environmental problems of flooding on transportation land use in Benin City?

iii)         In what ways can flooding on transportation land use be controlled in other to prevent disaster?

1.5 THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

1. There is no significant difference between the causes of flooding on transportation land use in the Benin City Metropolis.

2. There is no significant difference between the environmental problems of flooding on transportation land use in the Benin City Metropolis.

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

It is conceived that at the completion of this study, the findings will be beneficial to the environmental agency who are charge with the responsibility of enforcing policy and implementation of the policy formulated in other to mitigate the harsh effect of flooding in the society.

The study will also be of benefit to the ministry of environment in their quest to combat flooding and give us a healthier environment and disaster free society.

Finally it is conceived that at the completion of this study, the findings will be of benefit to students, teachers, lecturers, academia, researchers and the general public.

1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study covers the environmental impact of flooding on transportation land use in Benin City. However, the study is constrained or limited by some factors which are beyond the researchers control, which are:

1.   Time factor: time was not on the researchers to consult various sectors of the economy to review employees or given out questionnaire to various institutions on the effect of government revenue policies.
As we all know, time is never our friend. The time scheduled for the completion of this research thesis was too short. As a result, generating information/data was strenuous as it coincides with final year examination period, which needed attention.

2.   Finance: this is another barrier that limited the researcher’s work.

3.   Available resources: was unavailable for the research work.

1.9 THE STUDY AREA

Benin City has a history of being one of the foremost destinations of Europeans during their exploration of African continent many centuries ago, (www.edo-nation.net, 2008). Some of her flash points have remained enviable tourist attractions for the state. Benin City is the capital of Edo State. Benin City lies approximately between latitude 60 201 North of the equator and longitude 50 371 East of the Greenwich meridian. The distinct relief regions in Benin City are the swamps/creek. In the Benin low land is found sandy coastal plain and alluvium clay with some hills in the East. River Osse, Orhionmwon and Ikpoba drain the area.

Soil types in the Benin low land ranges from loose poorly productive sand in the South-east to fertile clayey soil in the North-east close to the Niger, the Osse and Benin drainage basins have alluvial and hydromorphic soils. The climate of Benin City is typically tropical with two major seasons. The wet (rainy) and the dry seasons. The wet season lasts from April to November and the dry season from December to March. The natural vegetation of Benin City consists of tropical rainforest in the Benin low lands. Human interference has, however, led to the presence of plantation for rubber and oil palm as well as forest reserves.

The main ecological problem in Benin City is flooding, soil erosion and scarcity of water and out crops of basement rocks. Flooding and erosion are acute in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba-Okha local government area of Benin City. Rainfall and the removal of vegetal cover and unplanned land use development are the main cause of the problem  Transportation in Benin City is mainly by road and to some extent by air and water. On road transportation, Benin City is transverse by a network of Federal (Trunk A), State (Trunk B), township and rural earth roads (BeninCity 2005)


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