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Home » LAND AND ENVIRONMENT » FLOOD MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

FLOOD MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

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Drainage near Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos

Drainage near Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos

Flood is a natural hazard that makes no distinction in the status of any society in the world. Its occurrence in different parts of the world has shown that it is a global phenomenon that does not ostracize any community. Few examples of major floods are in Jakarta, Indonesia (January, 2013), Manila, Republic of the Philippines (August 2012), Black Sea Region of Southern Russia (July 2012), Queensland, Australia (January 2011 and 2013), nineteen States in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2012), Tennessee, Northern Mississippi Basin in the United States of America (May 2010), Yorkshire in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (May 2007), Southern Alberta in Canada (June 2005) and the Republic of Mozambique (2000, 2012 and 2013). The common characteristics of all these disasters are massive devastation to the physical and emotional fabric of the environment.

In many jurisdictions, flood hazard cannot be totally avoided, but minimizing its destructive impacts on lives and the environment becomes a strong priority for many governments. Learning from regular flood disasters, certain countries such as New Zealand have come to recognized flood as a major natural challenge to be confronted within the national policy consciousness; hence efforts have been relentless in evolving multi – level but coordinated strategies in building resilience communities and combating the perennial hazard.

However, many countries in the Sub Saharan Africa are yet to demonstrate full preparedness to deal with the problems, despite the increasing threat posed by the flood and possibilities of severe flooding in the future due to climatic and other environmental factors. One factor is a rise in mean sea levels, which will be around 50 centimeters by 2070 as warmer temperatures cause oceans to expand (Channelnewsasia, 2012). The enormity of the challenges ahead for the population at flood risk in Sub Saharan Africa, most of who lives below USD1.25 per day and the adopted approaches to resolving flood crisis by Governments in the region becomes compelling to review the governance structure for risk management practice. Lagos, the largest city in the region located in the coastal area, provides a pulsating platform to assess the governance structure on flood risk management.

Lagos is a City-State regarded as the economic and commercial capital of Nigeria with estimated 21, 200, 000 population. It has a total area of 3, 577.28 square kilometers of which 779.56 square kilometers representing about 22% is wetland and a population density of 5, 926 persons per square kilometers. Population has continued to grow at a rate of 3.2% per annum while the authority is aiming at transforming the city into African model mega city (Lagos State Government, 2012).

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