Flood dampens property markets in eight states

Property owners trying to sell their properties in flood-hit parts of the country are yielding to pressure to drop prices as demands for homes in some of the affected locations have reduced drastically, The Guardian investigation has revealed.After weeks of flooding in major cities, especially in eight states, some houses have been submerged in water, forcing the occupiers and tenants to vacate the areas.

The flood affected residential /commercial properties and the residents in general. The situation also made investors in the low-income side of the market to shy away from areas classified as major risks zones.

While some tenants left their houses, some property owners have lowered rents to woo new tenants while properties earlier offered for sale have began to appear on the market, with values reduced.

While flood events in low-risk corridors had no impact on property prices and residents, those in high-risk locations like; Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikoyi in Lagos and states like, Kogi, Niger and Anambra, among others, were negatively affected.

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This is evidenced in low property investment as a result weakened investors’ confidence in the affected locations according to operators.

In Niger state for instance about 100-houses were submerged by flood about two weeks ago in Zungeru area with about 7,000 residents displaced as a result of the incident.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency had earlier in the year urged state governments to take pro-active action against floods disaster but nothing could be done to mitigate the challenge.

The agency predicted floods in; Kogi, Niger, Cross-River, Benue, Anambra, Delta, Anambra, Ogun-Osun, and Yobe states with high risks of river flooding.

It also indicated that Lagos, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Ondo states among others, may likely experience coastal flooding as well as contributes significantly to incidences of collapse buildings.

The Kogi State Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV) Ramatu Omale said the situation has impacted on real estate transaction, especially in locations where the commoners live.

She explained that because of floods, they had to park out of their place of residence to areas, which they didn’t expect.

“This has caused a drop in affected flood location and a rise in rents in new communities where people are moving into because of the pressure on the available properties. People had to move from their original places to new places. Some people were capitalizing on that to increase rents in new location”.

According to her, in locations where a one-bedroom flat used to be N80, 000 before the flood, rents were reduced by 20 per cent.

She said, “Two-bedroom flat that used to be about N240, 000 was reduced to N200, 000 andwhich is about 40per cent decrease.

There was no pressure on the luxury side of the real estate in the state because most of the people that were affected are the low income earning Nigerians and so they don’t have the choice of going to highbrow areas like the Government Reserved Area (GRA)”.

Omale stated that the flood also weakened investors’ confidence in locations such as, Kabawa, Adankolo and Ganaja among others, which were specifically riverine areas of Kogi State.

“Sometimes, investors unknowingly preferred having their properties facing the river side to overview the river especially for hoteliers and some other commercial concerns but when the flood came up, everybody began to have another thought about development along those corridors because they don’t pray for a situation whereby their investment would end up in ruins and wastes.

Those who were developing properties for the low-income earners in the axis had to stop on their decision and relocate their investment to other weather friendly locations”.

She said that there are few areas where the state government has started building embankment and the locations were originally high flood prone locations despite building the embankments, she disclosed that the locations were so flooded this year.

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His Niger State counterpart, Dr. Kemiki Adebowale told The Guardian that this year was the first in about 10years when the state witnessed such high level of floods where people’s houses were destroyed.

He said people that have been displaced are now looking for accommodation elsewhere stressing that this has opened way for housing development in nearby communities.

Adebowale said; “Housing prices in affected communities were going down while in other communities where people are moving into, prices were going up as
vacant accommodations that were not going for rent before is been redeveloped by the owners just to look good for rent.

“In those communities particularly in Zungeru, nobody wants to live there because the entire place has been submerged and the location currently has zero property value as at today”.

According to him, floods event have served, as an indication that would be investors in property market should be careful on the kinds of terrains they build properties.

“Now the eyes of housing investors have been opened to the need to identify flood prone locations when considering investing especially with about 100 houses destroyed by flood in Kogi state.

Anambra schools close due to flooding

 

All primary, post-primary and tertiary schools in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra have been temporarily closed in reaction to the flood disaster in the area.The council Chairman, Mr Arinze Awogu disclosed this while inaugurating the distribution of relief materials at the council headquarters, Atani on Tuesday.

Awogu said the closure of the schools was in line with the directive of Governor Willie Obiano, who said schools in the affected areas should be closed to avert loss of life.“We are in an emergency situation and for us, safety of life is paramount, people will not have need for education when they are dead.

So in line with the directive of the governor, we have asked that all the schools in Ogbaru be temporarily shut down,” he said.He said that a 12-man Local Emergency Management Committee had been set up to ensure effective rescue and coordination of victims as well as distribution of relief materials to those in Internally Displaced Persons camps.The council boss said Ogbaru had taken delivery of buckets, mattresses, mats, mosquito nets and blankets from the State Emergency Management Agency but noted that it was still a far cry from what was required.

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According to Awogu, about 190 households comprising of no less than 1, 100 persons are presently at the three IDPs camp located at the council secretariat, Community primary school Odoekpe and St James Anglicans Church, Iyiowa.He noted that 13 out of the 16 villages were on the coastal bank of River Niger and all had been critically affected by the flood. He added that the remaining three were also highly threatened.The chairman, who had also been sacked from his house, said no life has been lost to the flood in Ogbaru as of the moment stressing that destruction of property, farms, farm produce and livelihood of the people was massive.

He urged people to move to the camps and decried their reluctance to leave their ancestral homes.

“We are close to where we found ourselves on 2012, when the water height was 12.84 metres and as at yesterday it stands at 11. 80 metres, so you can see how close we are to it.“There are 16 communities in Ogbaru and 13 of them are along the river bank; all these towns are terribly submerged.“These are Odoekpe, Atani, Akiri, Ochuche, Mputu, Osamala, Oguikpele, Obaogume and Ummunankwo and they are all gone.“Others are Obagu, Umuzu, Obaogume, Ogbakuma, all these towns are submerged, no place is safer than the other.

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“It is a humanitarian challenge here, we need the best help we can get, it is good that the federal government has declared Anambra flood a disaster, we want to see massive deployment of relief materials here.“We need effective medical assistance because of the looming epidemic; we need food, disinfectants, toiletries and other emergency items.“What we are distributing is what we got from SEMA, we want NEMA to react to their declaration by massively deploying relief materials here,” he pleaded.

He thanked Obiano and the people of Ogbaru who had helped to draw attention to the disaster and also rendered assistance.

 

 

 

FLOODING: CAUSES & PREVENTIVE MEASURES

 

Have you ever experienced the agony of living in a flooded community? Within few hour of heavy rain; lives are lost, properties are gone, heavy traffic jam, the frightening of destructing

Flooding is a common natural disaster in Nigeria, both in the rural and urban areas which affect millions of people around the globe.

WHAT IS FLOODING?

Flooding is the excess of water on the surface of the ground when it rains, normally such lands are dry lands, except there is rainfall particularly, when there is small portion of land to absorb the water.

How it works

Soil types/land has a specific water holding capacity. If the rainfall exceeds the water holding capacity of a land, it results to flood. Water holding capacity is the amount of water a land can absorb, contain or hold without surface runoff. One the land water holding capacity is filled, water starts to rise above the ground level resulting to surface runoff.

Loamy soil has the highest water holding capacity followed by sandy soil and finally clay soil. These characteristics accounts for the ability of loamy soil to absorb a lot of water and nutrient.

CAUSES OF FLOODING IN NIGERIA

Most times houses buildings are submerged, people’s properties are destroyed. This is unfortunate. Some may ask, what are the causes of flooding particularly in urban cities

Poor Drainage System

Some of the drainage system in Nigeria are not constructed and maintained well. Rural and urban dwellers misuse the drainage by dropping refuse, sewage; reducing its effectiveness and capacity to allow flow of water. When there are no proper and adequate drainages in the urban cities or towns and sometimes, there could be these drainages in the urban cities but poor planning when building drainages in the cities, of course, we know that in urban cities, there is very small portion of land to absorb rain water when it rains. Flooding can also be caused b y dumping of refuse into drainages

Heavy Rainfall

Another cause of flooding is heavy rainfall

Improper planning of building structures

Moreso, if someone builds in the water way, the possibility that he will block the waterway during rainfall thus, causing flooding.

HOW TO PREVENT FLOODING IN NIGERIA

Flooding can be prevented in many ways, but much more important is that, while wanting to prevent flooding, the first thing that should come to mind should be effective mitigation measures and proper planning. You can prevent flooding when proper planning is taken into consideration. Much of these measures should be taken in areas that are prone to flooding.

Construction of Dams

A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground stream. It is an effective way of flood control. Dams were originally built especially for flood control in developed countries. Many large dams have flood control reservation in which the level of a reservoir must be kept below a certain point before the rainy season. During the rainy season, flood water is allowed to fill the dam restricting them from destroying lives and properties. If we consider the dam as an open tank filled with water. Before the rainy season, tank is emptied in order to create space for rain water during the raining season; reducing flood in the community

Building Dikes and Levees

Dikes and levees are flood-control structures built to fight river flooding and water surges. Dikes and levees restrain rivers during floods by providing artificial water channels that prevent runoffs from bursting floodplains. Floodplains are natural waterways that carry excess river water during heavy rainfall. Dike engineers/constructors alter and develop floodplains by building dikes and levees to boost flood-prevention when floodplains well up.

Improve Flood warning system

Flood warning system is a way of detecting threatening events in advance. This warns the public in advance so that actions can be taken to reduce the adverse effect. Properly conveying advance warnings of impeding storms and floods will not only give people the opportunity to be proactive in preventing damage to their property, it will save lives. Warning signs should be indicated in areas prone to flood; preventing interested buyers from falling victims of such area. It also warns drivers to avoid that route.

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Flood Resilience

Flood resilience is the capacity to recover from flood. This is an efficient method compared to river defence. Buildings and other urban infrastructures should be designed or structured strategically; making it easier to recover from flood. For example, water proofing homes and businesses and moving electrical sockets higher. Green roofs can be implemented. This is the process of building houses with vegetative roofs. Vegetative roofs contain soils: which absorbs rain water reducing flood. However this is expensive to build and maintain.

Create Flood Plains

Flood plains are lands that have the capacity of absorbing large amount of water. It diverts water from flooded communities; reducing the flood. This is a method of conservation as flood plains are used as natural reservoir; where communities can fall back on during drought. In some countries, wilderness and deserts have been re-engineered to act as flood plains. This should be looked into in Nigeria. Flood plains also serve as natural habitat for aquatic animals.

Preservation of wetlands and planting of trees

Reforestation should be encouraged in Nigeria. Reforestation is a term for planting of trees which reduces the impact of flood. The trees absorb water, slowing down the overflow of rivers to neighboring communities. Wetlands will soak up moisture and wooden areas: slow down flood when river overflows. Creating wetlands and reforestation is a good environmental practice

Building Diverting Canals

Canals are artificial water channels that can be crucial to flood prevention. Canals facilitate control of water levels passing through, and form linear reservoirs and water locks. During flooding, excess water is channeled through canals to non-risk areas further downstream or to other areas with high demand for water, such as arid and semi-arid areas. Canals can also be used to lock excess flood waters in its linear reservoirs to prevent flooding and store water for future use. Canal delivers water from flooded communities to a city where water is needed. Canals can link several cities together i.e. Canal can lead Abuja and Kaduna state; crowning it’s efficiency. Floods can be controlled by redirecting excess water to purpose-built canal. Canal is also used to confine or lock water.

Harvesting Rain Water

Harvesting rainwater involves collecting and storing rainwater and can not only prevent floods; it can also curb urban water scarcity. Harvested rain water can be cleaned for human consumption and distributed to people in rural areas, as well as urban areas in times of water scarcity. Rain water harvesting is carried out in different ways, including building ponds, storm drains, water retention basins and flood-control dams.

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Flooding can be prevented with improved drainage

Like I mentioned earlier one of the causes of flooding is dumping refuse into drainages. With such fact in place, flooding therefore can be prevented through improved drainage. When drainages are improved, there will be easy access for water during rainfall. Flooding can be controlled and prevented when the drainages are improved because it will help ensure that there is a way for easy flow of excess water during and after rainfall. This type of measures should be taken in the urban cities, where there are many cases of flooding problems. The efficacy of drainage may be improved to control flooding. This could be achieved firstly through rehabilitation of drainage system in the urban cities. Next is that the drainage system has to be cleaned, this is done by removing refuses, including solid wastes that may have blocked the drainage systems.

Environmental Sanitation

Refuse and sewages block the drainage system and canal pathway, preventing the flow of water making them inefficient. Canals, drainages should always be cleaned regularly, removing debris etc. people should be warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse and sewage in the community, drainage or canal. This is the cheapest way of preventing flood in Nigeria

 

100 die in severe flooding in Nigeria

Nigeria has declared a national disaster after severe flooding left about 100 people dead across 10 states, the country’s main relief agency said on Tuesday.

Heavy seasonal rains have caused the Niger and Benue rivers to burst their banks, inundating communities, farms and trapping tens of thousands of people in their homes.
Sani Datti, from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told AFP: “We have declared a national disaster in four states — Kogi, Delta, Anambra and Niger. “Eight other states are on the watch list. All these states have been the worst hit by the flooding. About 100 people have lost their lives in 10 states.” Kogi and Niger are in central Nigeria while Delta and Anambra are in the south. The Kogi state capital, Lokoja, lies at the confluence of both rivers and has been virtually submerged because of the rising waters.
NEMA said water levels on Monday were continuing to rise in Lokoja and had reached 11.06 metres (36 feet) — approaching those of similar devastating flooding in 2012. Then, hundreds of people died and about two million others were left homeless in 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.
More rains are forecast on Tuesday, according to the Nigerian Meteorological Agency. Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday he had approved the release of three billion naira ($8.3 million, 7.1 million euros) to buy medical and relief materials.
Flooding along the rivers is a frequent occurrence during the annual rains, which fall from May to September. Datti said military personnel and equipment had been seconded to help the relief effort, as well as the evacuation of trapped residents from their homes.

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