Ending Floods: Possible Means To Reducing Catastrophes


In 2018, Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) announced that at least 34 people have died and as many as 100,000 people have been displaced due to the incessant surge of flood. In Sudan, heavy rainfall between July and August 2018 has caused severe flooding which has displaced 8,900 families and left at least 23 people dead. Many areas in Africa have experience localized flash flooding due to storms bringing high-intensity rainfall.

Frequent and heavy rainfall occurs between July to September with poor drainage systems and blocked waterways making floods inevitable. Especially in areas where there are poor drainage systems and poor waste management. Most developing countries suffer poor risk management and weak methods of evacuating victims thereby there will be more numbers of casualties. Though the locals are also in part of the flood crisis, apart from careless waste disposal in drainage systems that can slow down the movement of water, most locals rarely listen to the flood warnings circulated by government agencies. There is a huge statistics on the number of lives lost, properties destroyed and financial loses caused by floods.

Can Flood Be Contained or Prevented?
Yes, with joint efforts of the emergency agencies and locals, floods or its risks can be lessened to a minimum level.

Here are a certain ways floods can be managed or reduced in regions like Africa and Asia.

Introduction of effective town planning, respecting construction rules and regulations, and rooting out corruption in the building certification process.
Many least developed countries lack urban planning expertise. Well trained and experienced urban planners, engineers and surveyors must be hired to take care of the urban mapping and construction. Bribery and corruptions must be discouraged in the housing and land departments while unmerited building permits should be withheld.

Fostering public awareness and campaigns on sanitation and best environmental practices.
Governments and NGOs should encourage people to take care of their environments and be observant about their surroundings. Urban dwellers should be urged to plant trees, shrubs and enough vegetation to retain extra water and reduce erosion. Wastes should not be dumped on floodways or drainage systems. Though the main challenge is the growing population around the world which in turn increases the chances of uncontrollable waste disposal.

The construction of floodways (man-made channels to divert floodwater). Most busy streets and local markets in flood-affected areas do not have floodways. Drainage systems should be covered to prevent jumble from getting into them. Localized urban flooding occurrences in some cities in the country are expected to remain due to high rainfall intensity of rainstorms, lack or blockage of the drainage system and poor urban planning. High rainfall cannot be controlled but the construction of drainage system is profoundly recommended.

There should be a significant focus in flood prevention and safety of residents. Activities such as proper awareness on waste management, early flood alerts to people living in the targetted area, stronger river control and urban/building standards or moving people effectively can avoid the increase in casualties. Nevertheless, global warming, a major challenge all around the world will continue to be a primary cause of floods.

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