How Population Growth Is Causing River Banks To Expand In Nigeria

Increased human activities around river banks are aiding the expansion of rivers and subsequently flooding and other hazards. Daily Trust on Sunday reports. 

“My household is always in fear when the month of September approaches because it is during this period that we witness heavy rainfall and when it happens, water comes into the house because the river here would have expanded its bank, thereby, causing flooding in the area.”

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Those were the words of Zulayha Adamu, a mother of four who lives close to a river that straddles the Gwagwalada Area Council, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Though her house, located at Angwar Hausawa Abattoir, is 5km away from the river, it is not spared when the river overflows its banks. This has led to flooding which occurs yearly, leaving damages to places residents have called homes for years.

“This used to be my room,” she pointed to a dilapidated structure overgrown by grass, “the next is the sitting room, followed by that of our children. The floods we had in the last four years have partially destroyed the rooms and damaged a lot of our properties.”

Nigeria is witnessing one of the devastating periods as floods have destroyed farmlands and properties. Authorities said the flood has killed over 300 people and more than 500 have been injured while thousands have been displaced this year.

Experts point to climate change as the phenomenon while the government blamed water overflowing from local rivers, unusual rainfalls, and lack of planning in towns close to the river banks as a result of residents flouting environmental guidelines.

As the country’s population increases daily, its attendant effect is the demand for land as towns grow due to urbanization and rural migration.

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