Ondo Town, Nigeria

(Case Studies)

The settlement of Ondo Town is another example of a settlement extremely prone to flooding, lacking any kind of organized or effective drainage system. Located in the southwest region of Nigeria, it is the second largest town in the Ondo state. Even though the town has hills rising 250-500 meters above sea level, the topography of the town is relatively flat and has effectively abated flooding in the area over the years. The main focus of this case study was on the inadequate supply of housing as well as the poorly designed lay- outs of neighborhoods.

The major cause of flooding in Ondo Town, according to responses gathered from resident-based interviews, was due to poor drainage control and management (Okoko, 2008). Qualitative evidence confirmed the absence of such infrastructure in most settlements, and if drainage canals were present, they were effectively blocked by rubbish and silt. The virtual absence of a stormwater management system, coupled with the encroachment of flood planes on residential housing, led to flooding and the consequences that it brought along.

An issue that baffled the researchers was how the residents of flood-prone areas could refuse to relocate by their own initiatives. This developed “thick skin” in some of the residents living in flooding areas who preferred to remain in-situ, and deal with the consequences of flooding (Okoko, 2008).

Infrastructure damage to buildings was also identified as a pressing issue as a result of inadequate water management systems. 88% of the interviewed declared that their buildings suffered from structural damage due to their exposure of foundations to dampness and waterlogged rooms. Around 25% of the surveyed expressed that they had lost possessions to storm water (Okoko, 2008). This, however, could have been explained due to the residents mitigating the effects of flooding to an acceptable level.

The completion of civic activities under flooding conditions was also investigated in the case study. Civic activities pertain to deeds such as going to work, to the market and/or going to school. Surprisingly, 60% of the interviewed residents responded that they were not impeded of their activities due to flooding (Okoko, 2008). This reconfirmed that, over time, the residents of Ondo Town have grown a resistance to flooding.

In terms of behavioral solutions, the case study recommended that the government or city authorities declare certain areas as high-risk to flooding damages. This would entail relocating people, while local planning authorities layout a list of properties elsewhere to encourage migration (Okoko, 2008). Secondly, a thorough control or elimination of open water surfaces is needed to avoid health hazards posed to the residents of Ondo Town, which would be ideally carried out by the community. Finally, the creation of an organization that is in charge of inspecting, desilting, and cleaning the gutters and channels in the town is needed to effectively maintain a working system, maintained by all stakeholders (Okoko, 2008).

This case study portrayed the causes and effects of flooding in a low-lying informal settlement. It gave our team an insight into how the residents have adapted to the problems associated with stormwater runoff. Many of the issues discussed will be pertinent to our project in Monwabisi Park. It was clear that, even though behavioral patterns intensify flooding consequences, the main reason for stormwater runoff damage is the lack of an appropriate drainage system, and the absence of an agency to produce one; in our specific case, we will have the support of the VPUU.

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