Geostrategic Plan for Mitigation of Flood Disaster in Nigeria
Nigeria is geographically located downstream river Niger and Benue that takes their sources from Guinea and Cameroun respectively. Both rivers discharge into the country by forming a confluence at Lokoja. The Niger basin has a total active catchment area of about 1.5 million km² and usually subdivided into the Upper Niger, Inland Delta, Middle Niger and the Lower Niger basins. Nigeria is located in the latter covering about 30% of the Niger basin total catchment area. There are two types of floods in the Niger basin; the first is known as the White floods which usually occur during the rainy season with a peak flood flow occurring between July and September and the second is the Black flood emanating from Guinea with maximum flood flows occurring between December and January. Consequently Nigeria with over 80% of the population of the Niger basin that represents about 60% of the country’s population and located downstream has been continually inundated by the persistent floods from both the Niger and the Benue with many loss of lives and properties. However, the Niger Basin Authority (NBA) in Niamey, created by its 9 member countries including Nigeria, established a satellite controlled Data Collection Platform (DCP) located along the river Niger and the Benue catchment areas in the country. The DCP collects flow data at every station every 1 hour of a day and transmit every 3 hours through the EUMETSAT satellite. Flood flows can therefore be monitored and downloaded from these hydrological network stations as well as disseminated through the Internet. This paper therefore, takes critical analyses on the use of the satellite controlled DCP to mitigate the impact of the persistent flood disaster that is causing loss of lives and properties in the country.