Changes in flood risk in Lower Niger–Benue catchments
- 1Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Nigeria
- 2Department of Environmental Science, Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun, Nigeria
Abstract. Floods are devastating natural disasters with a significant impact on human life and the surrounding environment. This paper analyses historical and recent flood (2012 extreme) peak flow at strategic locations, land use activities and Floodplain Vulnerability Index analyses of the Niger–Benue River Floodplain. The 2012 peak flow at Jederbode on the Niger River was about 50% above the long term average. At Jebba (Niger), the 2012 peak flow of 1567 m3 s−1 was also far higher than the long term mean annual peak flow of 1159 m3 s−1. The 2012 peak flow at Lokoja was also about 50 % above the historical average. The Benue River at Makurdi had peak flow of 16 387 m3 s−1 which was also unusually higher than the historical average while Wuroboki (Benue) had peak flow of 3362 m3 s−1 which was also much higher that the historical average (694 m3 s−1). The mixed land use which supported diverse ecosystem services has the largest cover of 5654 km2 (36.85%) of the Niger–Benue floodplain. The flood vulnerability of the various land uses within the floodplain include; medium, high and very high levels. A four levels hierarchical implementation adaptation strategy for sustainable agricultural practices along the rivers flood plain was proposed. The implementation hierarchy includes: Community Concern, Local Authority Concern, State Concern and National Concern.