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 Disaster Management & Prevention:
Managing Flood Disaster with Tree Planting
Jul 16, 2013
By: Cletus Ilobanafor

Nigeria: -

Flood is a disaster that usually proves to be fatal whenever it occurs. It is one of the most dangerous natural disasters that people don’t wish to experience at all. This disaster is caused by persistent rise in the water level, thus leading to an uncontrollable situation.

Many African countries have suffered so much flood disaster, as more danger still loom because of impending flood which could occur at any time and in any place. Therefore, it is better to critically examine flood and see how measures could be taken in controlling it.

The causes of flood can be divided into two major parts namely; natural and artificial causes. Natural causes include; spring snowmelt, severe thunderstorms, prolonged rains, etc, while the artificial causes includes; inadequate drainage or failure of dams, blockage of water ways etc.

Flood can damage homes by pulling down structures in order to force the passage of water; farmlands can be damaged with crops being swept away, families could be displaced as a result of flood, while properties and livestock could suffer greately from flood disaster.

Since flood has dealt too many African countries in the past devastating blows, CEOAFRICA find it imperative that measures should be taken in reducing the damage level of flood in Africa, and one of the notable means in achieving this is the idea of tree planting.

Tree, as research indicated, is a major tool needed to checkmate damages that flood can cause on our environment. As Africa is blessed with naturally fertile soil suitable for planting, it is a good idea, if the continent should encourage tree planting. When land is covered with roofs or roads, rains that would have soaked into the ground and recharged the ground water now runs across the surface creating storm water run-off. With current infrastructural development ongoing across Africa, the above analysis indicated in few years time, many impending flood disaster could occur.

The following are benefits of tree planting in managing flood disaster in Africa;

Firstly, trees put holes in the saran swaps and allow rain to infiltrate into the ground, then recharge groundwater rather than running off the surface. This helps to reduce topsoil erosion.

Secondly, tree prevents harmful land pollutants contained in soil from getting into our waterways. It also helps to absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to prevent suffocation of human being.

Thirdly, trees help to slow down water run-off. When trees are planted, the water which supposes to rush and link together on a fast pace thereby leading to flood would eventually be slowed down.

Although it takes a lot of years for trees to grow, it is not too late to embrace the planting of one, so as to forestall impending flood disaster.

As the natural causes occur, it is advisable that Africans should put up measures to control the artificial causes of flood because most of the natural causes can be traced, at the final analysis, to human actions and inactions. The following measures, when properly adopted, would assist Africans in reducing the artificial causes of flood disaster;

First and foremost, Africans should desist from acts that blocks waterways. This includes illegal construction of buildings on waterways, illegal dumping of refuse inside lakes and rivers etc.

Secondly, Africans should discourage illegal cutting of tree without planting any replacement.

Thirdly, Africans should reduce the level of chemical discharge into the air. Due to inadequacies of many African countries to provide constant electricity supply, many industries have resolved to the use of artificial power source of supply, especially the power generator. Most of these produced fumes that not only pollute the environment with increase in level of carbon  dioxide through highly contaminated fumes being discharged; they also aid the depletion of the ozone layer. This weakness of ozone layer led to global warming with the sun having direct contact on the earth. This global warming has led to series of ice meltdown in the ocean, thus creating a rise in the level of water across the ocean, as this overflows its boundaries to cause flood around its immediate environment.

In conclusion, tree planting is a laudable act which Africans should embrace, especially in this quest of managing flood disaster across the continent.



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