In early July 2012, Nigeria experienced the kind of flood that was described as the worst in 40 years! It reportedly killed 363 people, and those were official figures. That is an indicator that there could be a lot more unaccounted for. By the 5th of November 2012, the flood had displaced over 2.1 million people out of an estimated total population of 170 million. As at 2012, that will mean displacing the population of an entire country, because in 2105, the population of Qatar, Lesotho, Macedonia, and Slovenia, were all in the region of 2.1 million each.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), 30 out of the 36 states in Nigeria were affected by the 2012 floods. The flood affected an estimated total of 7 million people. The estimated damages and losses caused by the floods were worth N2.6 trillion, which is an alarming 50% of Nigeria’s entire budget in 2012. There is no year that the country has not witnessed flood since then.
Despite the amount of perennially avoidable loses recorded so far by the citizens of Nigeria, and the number of families thrown into needless mourning over the flood, it would be expected that any responsible government will not just be blaming its citizens for dumping refuse on waterways. Such government would have been enormously proactive in ensuring that flood becomes a thing of the past in the country.
In 2017, which is 5 years after the worst flood yet, 4 states including the Federal Capital Territory have been experiencing massive floods. This has also displaced many people, while some have been declared missing. Others have abandoned their homes, while countless hardship has befallen others. In Kajola local government area of Oyo state, a young man was swept away by flood. There are so many unreported cases like that. If rain flooding can be really traced to blocking of waterways because of refuse and poor drainage system, then 5 years is enough for any serious administration to tackle flood head-on.
All over the world where the people in charge of governance are serious, waste management is serious and profitable business. With the population of Nigeria, and the humongous amount of waste generated, Nigeria should have established a viable waste management industry. This industry will not only boost the economy, but also save many lives and properties from avoidable destruction.
As at 2016, Nigerian households alone generate around 3.2 million tons of solid waste annually, from which the country could be making $750 billion from food waste alone. Flood as a result of heavy rain needs proactive and creative solutions that are beyond dredging rivers and digging drainages after the damage had been done. The crocodile found in Lagos Island on July 9, 2017 could have attacked unsuspecting people if it were to be in the night when visibility might be almost zero. This should not be allowed to continue.
Filling stations on the island might also be in trouble, as underground tanks that might be punctured would have mixed water with petrol. This can lead to more trouble for unsuspecting motorists who might end up buying fuel that has been mixed with water. The consequence of this can be better imagined by vehicle owners.
Greennews.ng calls for an end to the era of irresponsibility; an end to a plethora of blame on citizens over rain flood. Government could set up task forces to ensure compliance with government regulations over waste management. Furthermore, waste management could provide jobs for the Nigerian youths. It is high time the government stop paying lip service to people and infrastructural management. Human lives are not sacrifices that should be made yearly to rain flood.