by Samuel, Koriake
October 31, 2015.
One of the most frequent types of natural disasters in the world is river flooding. River flooding occurs when the volume of water in the river rise over the banks of the river and flow into the towns. A major determinant of river flooding is heavy rainfall. River flooding is an annual phenomenon in many towns, communities and villages surrounded by rivers, oceans, and seas. They are more prone to river flooding than any other place because of their proximity to rivers, lakes, oceans and seas. The likes of Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Otuan, Ebeni, Swali, Tombia all in Bayelsa State, Nigeria and a host of many other are very susceptible to river flooding.
River flooding occurs annually in some of the aforementioned communities and sometimes after the space of one year. Farmlands located in islands like Amassoma are always submerged with water during flooding as a consequence, crops get harvested before harvest. River flood emanates with benefits to some communities but it is obvious that the demerits always outweigh the merits. Flooding leads to erosion, damage of property, distortion of social life, loss of farmlands, distortion of religious and academic activities-delay in academic activities lead to setback in the academic calendar. Flooding equally cause displacement of people who lost their habitats to flood.
The recent flood of 2012, Nigeria and in Bayelsa State in particular was devastating. There was a breakdown in communication in many parts of the State. Power supply was cut off to prevent loss of life during the flood making it difficult for service providers to transmit service to many areas. Some areas were inaccessible for weeks as major roads were submerged with water. Consequently cost of transportation went sky rocking and there were cases where bigger trucks were used to transport passengers from Yenagoa to Port Harcourt as cars and other vehicles could not drive on roads submerged with water.
Water pollution is inevitable during flooding, during the 2012 flood, many private borehole owners shut down from operation as their sinks were submerged with flood which consequently contaminated ground water and made it unsuitable for drinking. The attendant result of water pollution during this period was an increase in the cost of potable water.
The cost of food items were also on the rise as many rural communities and towns were cut off from major trading markets and neighboring communities and cities. Inflation, hunger, starvation and boredom were the order of the day.
Many people built prop beds in their houses just to have a roof above their heads and there were instances where some persons were sleeping on their ceilings.