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ASSESSMENT ON THE HEALTH IMPLICATION OF FLOOD IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

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ASSESSMENT ON THE HEALTH IMPLICATION OF FLOOD IN RURAL COMMUNITIES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the Study

Flood disaster is not a recent phenomenon in Nigeria and its destructive tendencies are sometimes enormous. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP, 2006), flooding is one of the major environmental crises ravaging the universe within the century and the millennium. This is especially the case in most wetlands of the world. The reason is attributed to the general rise in sea level globally, due to the global warming as well as the saturated nature of the wetlands in Nigeria. Periodic floods occur on many rivers, forming a surrounding region known as flood plain. Within the cities, human activities such as rapid industrialization and urbanization, population growth, exploitation of natural resources and location of infrastructures (dams, piers and lands) exacerbates the occurrence of floods. Askew (1999) reiterated that floods cause about one third of all deaths, one third of all injuries and one third of all damages from natural disaster.

Abam (2006) defined flood as a large volume of water which arrives at and occupy the stream channel and its flood plain in a time too short to prevent damage to economic activities including homes. It is a natural hazard like drought and desertification which occurs as an extreme hydrological (run off) event (Nwafor, 2006). It could also be seen as the inundation of an area not normally covered with water, through a temporary rise in level of stream, river, lake or sea (Emodi, 2012).Prolonged rainfall events are the most common causes of flooding worldwide. Floods are generally regarded as extreme hydrological events, where there is excess of water which may have devastating effects. According to Ayoade (1988), flooding in the tropics is regarded as partly or wholly climatological in nature as they result from torrential rainfall.According to Bello and Jeb (2016), flooding is the most common natural catastrophe, with the frequency of documented flood incidents growing dramatically over the previous 20 years. According to United Nations-Water (2011), there has been a dramatic increase in the number of persons killed or badly injured by flood catastrophes, which affect an estimated 520 million people globally each year, resulting in up to 25 000 deaths in a single year. Floods are widespread across the planet, according to a history of flood occurrences provided in NASA's Earth Observatory (EO), which was cited in Bello, & Jeb (2016), with the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere seeing the most extreme flooding. According to Bello and Jeb (2016), extreme rainfall in Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru during December 2006 to January 2007 caused major flooding and landslides in those nations. Ajayi, (2012) asserted that in mid-July 2012, flooding in the Ibadan metropolis caused some residents at Challenge, Oke-Ayo, and Eleyele to flee from their residences and save their lives. Floods also prevent some Christians from attending their churches services, while countless number of bridges was caved in. The Nigerian government said that certain structures on waterways had to be demolished as a result of the flooding, while former Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Bosun Oladele, announced that there were not any casualties from the flooding (Ajayi, 2012). According to Ola (2014), the city of Ibadan recorded another flood disaster in which some residents lost their lives in the flood that swept Carpet bus stop at Galilee area of Olodo and Apete area and damage to properties on June 28th, 2014 (Ola, 2014). According to the report of BBC (2012) in late July 2012, at least 39 people were killed due to flood in the central part of Nigeria, Plateau State. Heavy rainfall caused the Lamingo dam to overflow near Jos, sweeping across a number of neighborhoods in Jos and approximately 200 homes were submerged or destroyed. In addition, at least 35 people were missing, while Manasie Phampe, the head of the Red Cross in the state, announced that relief efforts were ongoing. The head of the Red Cross in Plateau state, Manasie Phampe, said rescue efforts were continuing. The floods left 3,000 people homeless, many of whom are taking refugee in government buildings in Jos (BBC, 2012).

Surprisingly, many settlements in Nigeria's coastal region, particularly in the Niger-Delta zone and among other places, have weak drainage systems and are thus prone to floods. Flooding threatens an estimated 25 million people, or 28 percent of Nigeria's population, who live in the coastal zone (NCAR, 2012). Flooding poses a significant risk to riverside populations and floodplains, as well as significant impacts on the environment, including aquatic fauna and flora and bank erosion (Twumasi, Merem, Ayala-Silva 2017).

    1. Statement of the Problem

The ecosystem imbalance arises when physical growth and development trails fast with rapid urbanization. It leads to the construction of large scale water impoundments, destruction of forest areas, development of industries with ill-management of waste drains, and paving of major highways. As ecosystem changes, future complications arises due to the exposure to pathogens, toxic, radiations, loss of water or food resources etc. majority of the sources essential for sound health, longevity, and in a nutshell, to sustain life, are usually harmed due to natural disasters.

Flood water is generally contaminated by various pollutants, such as sewage, human and animal faeces, pesticides etc. it thus impairs the clean water sources, due to which drinking and washing with such contaminated water becomes dangerous to health. Industrial wastes and the garbage fillings flow along the flood water and spread contamination. The pollutants also saturate into the ground water, and the waste water treatment plants get flooded and malfunctioned. This results into backflows of raw sewage to homes, and also blockages in the private sewage disposal systems. All this acts as favourable habitat for micro-organisms and vector insects, resulting in diseases. (CDC Fact sheets-10th Sept. 2004. & 10th Sept. 2005).The increased number of vectors and microbes in the flood water are the causative factors of ill-health in human beings as well as in animals. Many disease- causing viruses and bacteria increase the risk of the diseases such as cholera, typhoid, jaundice, influenza, cold, cough and gastro-intestinal disorders (Rogers and Randolph, 2000). The vector-borne infectious diseases and transmitted to animals and humans. Mosquitoes and flies are the important vectors responsible for the spread of common diseases, such as dengue, malaria, swine flu, diarrhoea, dysentery, amoebiasis and colic infections. Some of the vector-borne bacterial diseases caused due to the floods are leptospirosis and plague (Ross,2005;WHO). Another serious health hazards of floods is the increased level of anxiety, mental stress and fatigue. Having experienced the devastating flood, seen the loved ones lost or injured, and homes or property destroyed, leaves the flood victims in psychological distress. The financial and emotional burden increases with cost, labour and solitary coping required to repair and recover flood damaged assets. Prolonged post flood recovery commonly causes depression, anxiety, anger, sleeplessness and mental disorders. Lethargy and often suicide in extreme cases are other effects amongst the flood victims. Hypertension and heart problem in elders and bed-wetting in children, are the behavioral changes noticed in post-flood effects (Noji, 1997;Boulder,2002).

Although these researchers have helped provide some information regarding flood, Moreover, relatively few studies have concentrated on health implication of flood in rural communities. Upon this backdrop, this study seeks to assess health implication of flood in rural communities.

    1. Objective of the Study

The broad objective is focused on an assessment the health implication of flood in rural communities. Other specific objectives includes:

  1. To examine the nature or types of flooding witnessed in rural communities in Nigeria.

  2. To ascertain the causes of flood event in rural communities in Nigeria.

  3. To establish whether flood event exert significant impact on the health of rural communities.

  4. To investigate the health implication of flood rural communities.

  1. Research Questions

  1. What types of flooding witnessed in rural communities in Nigeria?

  2. What are the causes of flood event in rural communities in Nigeria?

  3. Does flood event exert significant impact on the health of rural communities?

  4. What are the health implication of flood rural communities?

    1. Significance of the Study

Flood events in many capital cities in Nigeria, are mostly due to the poor consciousness of the inhabitants on environmental information, inadequate (or sometimes absolute lack) of spatial information on the flood prone areas, waste dump and construction of buildings (both commercial and residential, even public offices) on river channel without adequate measure for water flow. To this end, the study assessed land use land cover changes in the study area, examined the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the hazards on the study area, generated flood risk and vulnerability maps as well as flood hazard models of the area using the factor criteria such as soil, elevation, rainfall and land use; slope and drainage density of the basin and finally modelled river hazards by producing a river model of the main drainage channel in the area in order to predict its tendency to flood in the future. The output of this study can serve as policy and decision-making tools for future food hazard analysis, prevention and reduction plans at the research location.The study will contribute to general body of knowledge on integration modelling for flood risk locations and serve as reference material for scholars who desire conduct further research on this topic.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study border on e health implication of flood in rural communities.The study will further consider the types of flooding witnessed in Nigeria rural communities, the causes of flood event in rural communities. And to establish whether flood event exert significant impact on the health of rural communities. The study is however limited to Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation of the Study

This research project, like all human endeavors, had some challenges that threatened to derail the study's completion. One of the reasons is that the time allotted for this work was so limited that the researcher did not have enough time to complete the task thoroughly. During data collection, the researcher also had to put forth extra effort to understand the respondents' interview schedules, several of whom fell into the incomprehensible age group. Also, there were financial and transportation constraints to deal with. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, interview).

1.8 Definition of Terms

Flood: A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry.

Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

implication: The biological consequences or changes that are caused or could be caused by the manipulation you are studying


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  • Methodology: Yes available


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