Table of content
1.1   introduction
1.2   Flood in Ebonyi State
1.3   Causes of flood
1.4   Devestating effects of flooding
1.5   Benefits of flooding
1.6   Preventive  / onto/ mitigating measures
1.7   Conclusion / recommendation

Flood is an over flowing  of a great body of water over land not usually submerged (oxford English Dictionary). Flood can also be define as large volume of water which arrive at and occupy the  stream channel and its flood plain in a time to short to prevent damage to economic activities including home. Abam (2006).
According to Nwafor (2006), is a  natural hazard like drought and desertification which occurs as an extreme hydrological (run off) event.
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 danger to people’s live and properties. It cause about one third of all deaths, one third of all injuries and one third of all damage from natural disasters (Askew, 1997). According to    (Etuonovbe, 2011), flood has become a developmental issue across  the world. It is the most common environmental hazard in Nigeria . From J.uly –October 2012, Nigeria witnessed unprecedented flooding traversing areas of the country along major river basins and water courses in 35 out of 36 states of the country. The recent flood occurrence in Nigeira has been linked to combination effects of natural, environmental and anthropogen factors including the heavy rains coupled with the releases of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon, Dand dam in Kowa and Kiri dam in river Gongola among other (UN DP, 2012)
The flood caused significant damages throughout the length and breath of Nigeria. For instance, killing about 431, injuring 29, 680 and displacing 1, 341, 179 people. In addition, large tract of agricultural land many still under crops and a number of livestock, settlement and other critical infrastructure such as roads, bridges, communities and power installations were destroyed. The extent and  intensity of the flood not only outweighed the capacity of individual farming household, but also that of the states and local governments in providing support and emergency relief.  National Bureau of statistics (2012)

 The unprecedented 2012 flood that ravaged parts of  Nigeria between july to September devastated the agricultural belt of Ebonyi State. The flooding crisis followed recent heavy downpours that caused rivers to flow over their banks leaving large parts of Ebonyi under water for some weeks. The flooding affected Eleven (11) L.G.As, killing 7 persons (4 in Ikwo L.G.A and 3 in 1zzi LGA) and displacing 50715 peoples and several homes fully or partially submerged  . SEMA (2012).  Large plots of farm lands with crops and a number of livestock, homes, livelihoods and productivity estimated at billions of naira were lost. Most farm lands remained under water for a long period of time.
  The LGAs where total crops losses were expected  are shown in the table 1 below.
Table 1 Tragedies of Floods And Associated Effects in the Affected L.G Of Ebonyi State
Associated effect
No of victims
No of death
Abakaliki Urban
Houses submerged, farm land washed away properties destroyed 

 Afikpo North
House destroyed, farm land destroyed, schools market, submerged
 Afikpo South
 Farm land submerged. Houses submerged
 Farm land destroyed, houses washed way
House destroyed, farm land destroyed houses, properties destroyed, life lost
Farm land destroyed house submerged
 Houses destroyed farm land destroyed school, market submerged, life lost
farm land submerged hoses destroyed
 Farm land destroyed hoses destroyed
Farm land destroyed houses destroyed
Farm land destroyed house destroyed
Source: Ebonyi SEMA, 2012
     According to the source, the major crops destroyed were rice, cassava and yam. Other crops include, cocoyam, pumkin, vegetables, etc. All existing fish ponds around these areas were washed away, for instance, the Fijimold fish farm sited within the Abakaliki urban owned by Chief Fedilis Mbam. The SSG of Ebonyi state.was badly hit by the 2012 flood. The farm lost 22 thousand range of catfish and tilapia fishes that worth 13,500.00  (thirteen thousand five hundred million naira).  

      Occurrence and reoccourrence of prolonged heavy rainfall and the result floods all over the world in the recent time are becoming concerns of research and government (Action Aid, 2006). The frequency of the phenomenon is no large news worthy of some instances . There are three schools of though about the preponderance of flood all over the globe especially in the tropics. The first is of the opinion that  there is global warning and climate change that is directly or indirectly increasing the amount of run offs. In this case, the only source of water that  results in great run off (flood) in west African and ineeded Nigeria will   be rain water. The second school  of thought is of the view that there have been a lot of abuses on the environment. The abuse include but not limited to poor management of wastes, inadequate drains for the build up areas and others. The third school of thought  has it that it is the combination of all two components above that are the cause of prolonged and torrential  showers of rains and the resultant run offs that lead to devastating floods in America, Europe and Africa including Nigeria.  The fact behind this school of thought is yet to be researched and confirmed. (Dowing, 2002)
            Welch et al (1977) opined that heavy rain fall, highly accelerated snowmelt severe winds over water, unusual high tide, tsumamis, or failure of dams, leaves retention ponds or other structures that retained the water flooding can be exacerbated by increased amount of impervious surface or by other natural hazards such as wildfires, which reduces the supply of vegetation that can absorb rainfall.
            Nott (2006) veiwed the causes of flood to be broadly divided into physical, such as climatological forces and human influences such as vegetation clearing and urban development. According to him, the most common causes of flood are climate related, most notably rainfall. prolonged rainfall events are the most common causes of flooding world wide. These events are usually associated with several days, weeks or months of continuous rainfall. Human impacts on river catchments  also influence flood behavours. Deforestation results in increase run-offs and often a decrease in channel capacity due to increase sedimentation  rates.
            Etuonovbe (2011) agreed the cause of flood in Nigeria to be of Natural cause or Human  cause. She revealved that the natural causes are in form of 
Heavy or torrential (rain) rainstorm oceans storms and tidal waves usually along the coast.  
Human cause which includes:
        Burst water main pipes
        Dam burst levee failures
        Dam spills.
      In the months of September and October 2012, several flooding ravaged Nigeria disrupting various sectors of Nigeria’s economy. This was caused by excessive rainfall within and outside Nigeria as well as a\water released from the Lagdo reservoir in the Republic of Cameroon. Mohammad Sani Sidi (2012). 
The cause of the flooding in Nigeria was also attributed to torrential rain that last for some days, over flowing of river Niger necessitating the increase of water from Kainji and shiroro dam coupled with the release of water from Lagdo dam in Cameroon. These events happening at the same time cause a perfect storm of water deluge in the affected states including Ebonyi state. The incidence of flood caused by sudden excessive rainfall is becoming common both in Nigeria as well as many parts of the world. Other reasons include poor planning by state government inspite of the early warnings by the Nigeria metrological Agency NIMET about an imminent heavy rainfall and the attendant flooding.

 The effect of flooding have increasingly assumed from significant to threatening proportions, resulting in loss of lives and properties. Etuonovbe(2011). Etuonovbe maintained that in Nigeria, though not leading in terms of claiming lives, flood affects and displaces more people than any other disaster. Flood has displaced so many people, chasing the inhabitants away. It has shattered both the built-environment and undeveloped plan. One funny thing about flood is that it does not discriminate, but marginalizes whoever refuses to prepare for its occurrence. She described that irreparable havocs have been sustained by the Nigerian citizens due to what has become perennial natural disaster in our cities. Apart from houses that collapse by flooding, school buildings and bridges sometimes collapse as well. Market places and farm lands are submerged for weeks and are sometimes washed away.
            According to Smith and Ward (1998), there are more evidence that flood problems is getting worse in terms of the damages caused by flooding.
Despite massive expenditures on flood defense, flood damage losses continue to rise in many countries. The two describe the losses incurred during flooding as direct and indirect.
            The direct losses occur immediately after the event of flood as a result of the physical contact of flood water with humans and with damageable properties. However, indirect losses which are less easily connected to the flood disaster and often operate on-long time scales, maybe equally, or even more important. Depending on whether or not losses are cable of assessment in monetary values, they are termed tangible and intangible. The tangible losses associated with direct losses include physical damage to properties, and restoration cost and the intangible losses associated with direct losses include loss of human life, illness of flood victims. Under the indirect loss, the identified tangible losses include disruption of traffic and economic activities, reduced purchasing power and the intangible losses include increased hazard vulnerabilities and loss of confidence. Some of the most important direct consequences of flooding are probably greatest in least developed countries (L.D.Cs) especially where frequent and devastating floods create impact for survivors. Primary losses can be high in rural areas where most of the damage is sustained by crops, livestock and the agriculture such as the irrigation system, levees, walls, and fences. In other words, primary losses relate mainly to the disruption of economic and social activities especially in urban areas immediately after a flood, Smith and Ward (1998).
            According to Bariweni. P.A, et al. (2012), the effects of flooding are felt by various receptors. These include, people, buildings, infrastructures, agriculture, open recreational space and the natural world. He maintained that in extreme cases flooding may cause a loss of life. Flood severely affect the economy of a country. Businesses may loss stock, patronage data and productivity and disruption to utilities and transport infrastructure can have knock-on effects to a wider area, tourism, farming and livestock can equally be affected.
            According to Lind, et al.(2008), the effects in case of flooding has many dimensions. In addition to economic loss and loss of life and injury, there may be irreversible losses of land of historical for cultural valuable and loss of nature or ecological valuables. Ninno et al, (2003) stated that the 1998 floods in Bangladesh caused severe damage to the rice crop and threatened the food security to ten millions of households. The flood led to major crop losses, losses of  assets and lower employment opportunities.
            The flood that hit Sudan in 1998 is a good example of extreme flood event. The Sudden and unexpected flow of water of the white and blue Nile due to unprecedented torrential rain cause serious property damage and human sorrow. In Khartoum province alone, food production fell at least 60% and the flood damaged  irrigation canals, sewage system, electricity, roads and water system. Severe losses were reported in agriculture, the main economic activities of the population (Disaster Risk Management Study Guide for Dim 605:- module 2). Theron (2007) indicated that at least 20 countries in Africa are affected by floods. These countries include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Uganda. He observed the immense damage to farms, crops, and livestock, The Ivory Coast flooding occurred very close to harvest time making the loss even greater, since farmers did not have much food stored from previous harvesting season. Flood also caused loss of soil fertility which lessened future harvests.
            In Nigeria, according to the report from Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the losses and damages in different sectors include washed away farmlands, swept away fish ponds bordering the rivers, destroyed rice farms, lost livestock (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry), destroyed irrigation infrastructure and equipment, lost fish from the ponds, inputs washed away (feeds and seeds), crop land with almost mature produce. (FMARD, 2012).
            The effects of flooding could be generally classified as follows:-
-Cause, aggravate and precipitate diarrhea water-borne diseases, destroy farms,               food and cash crops.
 -Make the individual, communities and nation poor through disruption of        services and degradation of agricultural lands.
-Destroy human life, animal life and properties
-Degrade the environment, spread  infestations, soil and water are polluted by chemicals.
-Cause soil infertility through leaching and erosion of rich soil.
-Cause fire out breaks. Etuonorbe. (2011)

Benefit of Flooding
   The are ,many disruptive effects of flooding on human settlements and economic activities. However, floods (in particular  the more frequent/ smaller floods) can also bring many benefits such as recharging ground water making soil more fertile and providing nutrients in which it is deficient. Bariweni et al., (2012). They noted that flood waters provide much needed   water resources in particular in arid and semi-arid regions where precipitation events can be very unevenly distributed throughout the year.
            A study carried out on the Devastating effect of flooding in Nigeria by Angela K.Etuonovbe (2012) revealed that, as many residents of Lagos and Ogun states have  been displaced as a result of flooding believed to have been caused by the release of water from Oyan Dam Ogum state, hunter, fishermen and Hawkers are cashing in on the disaster to make money. The flood has a positive effect on their business. According to fishermen interviewed voiced that they do not need to paddle their canoes to the far end of the river before catching fishes. According to them, when the water level of a river increased, more fishes tried to swim shore, they said this  natural phenomenon explained why fishes were always abundant during the raining season and added hectic that though we sympathized with people that have lost their property and homes, the flood has made our business a boom, now we catch more fishes than before. Even in the areas where they could not fish before because of shallow state of the river they now catch big fishes there because they are being pursued by the flood.
            Bariweni et al (2012) also stated that fresh water floods particularly play an important role in maintaining ecosystem in river corridors and are a key factor in maintaining flood plain biodiversity. He maintained that flooding adds a lot of nutrients to lakes and rivers which leads to improved fishes for a few years. also because of the suitability of a flood plain for spawning fish make use of floods to reach new habitats.
            The hunters were not left out in this Etuonovbe (2011). According to her since the flood, hunters claim that their traps caught more animals that it used to. Animals chased by the floods were cut by the trap. The reason were that while the flood is surging forward, animals run away from it and end up being caught up by their traps .  

            One of the significant measure that have been adopted to prevent and reduce the risk of community members in flood prone areas are the pre-flood education and clean up exercises (ILGS, 2012) according to them, organizing regular flood prevention sensitizing and awareness creation programmes to educate people on how to mange flooding where and how to build hoses and use land is the best method to prevent flooding. Pre-flood education will help to educate people on the effects of indiscriminate dumping of refuse in drainage facilities and proper building practices.
            Complementary to pre-flood education are flood warnings and timely emergency actions. Aletan et al  (2011). According to them, a combination of clear and accurate warning massage with a  high level of community awareness gives the best level of preparedness for self reliant action during floods. Public education programmes are crucial to the success of warnings intended to preclude a hazard from turning into a disaster.
            Flood warnings according to Bariweni et al (2012) is the provision of advance warning of conditions that are likely to cause flooding to property and a potential risk to life. They maintained that the main purpose of flood warning is to save life by allowing people, support and emergency services time to prepare for flooding. While the secondary purpose of flooding is to reduce the effects and damage of flooding.
Flood control refers to all methods used to reduce the detrimental effects of flood water. Bariweni, et al (2012). They disclosed some method of flood control which have been practiced since ancient times to include.
* Planting vegetation to retain extra water
* Terracing hill sides to slow flow down hills
* Construction of flood ways (man-made channels to divert flood water) 
* other techniques include  the construction of levees, dikes, dams, reservoirs or retention ponds to hold extra water during time of flooding
According to Aletan et al (2011), flood control dams stores all or a portion of the flood waters in the reservoir, particularly during peak flood and then releases the water slowly. Space within a reservoir is generally reserved to store impending floods, based on hydrological forecasts, the reservoir is regulated in away to minimize the chances of coincident peak floods in different tributaries synchronizing in  the main stem of the river downstream. Small to medium floods generated from catchment are fully captured by the reservoirs.   
 River defence  according to Bariweni et al (2012) are levees, bunds, reserviours and wires( low head dam) which are used to prevent river from over flowing their banks. In many countries, rivers prone to flood are often managed carefully. When these defences fail, emergency measures such as sand bags or portable inflatable tubes are used.
Coastal flooding has been addressed with coastal defense such as sea walls beach nourishment and barrier islands. Barweni et al (2012) tide gates are use in conjunction with dykes and culvers. They can be placed at the month of streams or Small River where tributary streams or drainage ditches connect to sloughs, tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent tidal waters from moving upland and open during outgoing tides to allow water to drain or though   culverts and into the dike. The opening and closing of gates is driven by a differences in water level on either side of the gate.
            According to Etuonvobe, (2011) individual, state and federal government has a role to play in order to mitigate the deveatafing effect of flooding in Nigeria. She adviced that as a respondible citizen  you should help in every way to construct drain and ditches or embankments, to protect building, construction utilities etc.
Never put refuse or solid materials in draining and discourage others from doing so
 Always help to clean gutters or drains and encourage other to do the same.
Identify a high place where you can run to during floods
Prevent becoming a victim to floods
Known that no amount of sympathy and relief can make up for the pain greif and the losses you will suffer from flood disaster.
Educate yourself and others about floods know the signals and behave as you directed.
Don’t remove plant or tress unnecessarily; help to replant burnt or desired forests.
From state and federal Government  she also adviced that they should find a means of measuring or checking water levels of rivers, streams and  dams system and centres for the population especially against dam burst
Issue and strictly enforce regulations banning building and residents in flood prone zones.
Build and develop infrastructure which will prevent or limit flood and protect population systematically spill off water (after due warning to control the level of water in dams. Identify cause and plan to prevent its recurrence.
Arrange for and provide relief (flood, water, clothing, shelter etc.)
Check for realated water-borne diseases and immunize residents or offer preventive and curative treatments of need be
Desilt drains construct drains were needed.
Remove or demolish all structures obstructing drainage
 Demolish budly damged or destroyed structures and building that can obstruct free flow of water
If  is evident that flood had forced thousand of people from their homes while hundred of people  lost their live to flooding in Ebonyi State.
            Since some parts of the state are situated during heavy areas, which can be submerged during heavy rains, such areas can adequately be coped with rather than being controlled or mitigated
            In conclusion, there is urgent need for a collaborative effect of government and stakeholders to support proper land use and town planning to compact flooding Ebonyi State and in Nigeria at large since the environment remains our most valued possession and legacy. Let us hands to protect our environment.

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