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5 Things To Do To Avoid Flooding In Your Area.

FLOODING has become a perennial experience with the advent of the rainy season. It seems to be inevitable. However, experts say they can be controlled. In fact, floods can be prevented. While governments have a major role to play in this matter, there are certain things you can do as an individual to prevent flooding in your vicinity. Ecoscope spoke to the Director of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Professor Emmanuel Ofoezie. He gives some expert advice.

Have a proper drainage in your premises

One thing individuals can do is to have a proper drainage system within their compound. You must take appropriate action to channel the flood water in your compound into the neighbourhood gutter. Individuals should never channel flood water from inside their compound onto the road.

In the absence of a community gutter the individual can channel the flood water into a pit in his or her compound. The pit should be properly covered to prevent persons, especially little children, from falling into it.

Don't pour refuse in drainage

An individual's method of waste disposal is to be considered in flood prevention. Throwing waste into drainage channels either within the compound, or outside the compound on the streets can exacerbate flooding. Throwing waste into the drainage system can block the drainage and prevent the flow of flood water inside that drainage system.

Do not build on drainage

Resist the pressure to build on drainage channels, warns Professor Ofoezie. He says despite the fact that one may be the owner of the land, if the run-off flows through one's land, such run-off must be properly re-channelled. He said that it is best to always avoid building along a drainage channel. Doing so will block the drainage channel and cause flooding.

Avoid blocking drainage lines

People should avoid blocking drainage lines because flood water finds its way from the streets into their premises. He said the common thing people do in such cases where their compounds are flooded due to waters from the streets, is to block away the water. This will cause flood on the major road that affects the entire community. He noted that this is a common phenomenon in many cities in the country. A way out in this case is for individuals to dig a gutter for the flood water to run through their compounds. In this way the flood will be properly channeled. He however, noted that this solution may not be as simple as that 'because there may not be a place to channel the flood water to.'

Mobilise when you are overwhelmed

In a situation where there is no place to channel flood waters entering one's compound, it is best to report the matter to the authorities. 'When a problem overwhelms an individual, the only other place to go is to a constituted authority, like the local government,' said Professor Ofoezie.

The local government authorities are meant to be the closest to individual citizens. What an individual can do 'is to mobilise people around you and make a case directly to the local government. Erosion channels in an area can cut across many compounds. Even when you dig a gutter for flood water to run through, you cannot channel it into another person's compound! That can lead to conflict. So the best thing is to mobilise for government to do a drainage that will properly channel the flood water out of the community,' he said.

This calls for local governments that are functional and responsive to citizens.
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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Date:Jul 16, 2019
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