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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

          The environmental resources in Orerokpe most especially the land and soil resources are greatly threaten by flooding. The Orerokpe environ is covered by beautiful vegetation naturally checking the menace. This flooding and erosion menace has destroyed arable land for agricultural purposes which is the major socio-economic activities of the Orerokpe people. The government in his attempt to curb the situation has constructed a drainage system some meters away from the major road to redirect and channel all the water flowing to the erosion sites into the drainage system which is emptied into the river. Despite all this effort, the situation still remain the same.

          Flood refers to the inundation of a place that is usually dry resulting from the rising and over flowing of a body of water or water rising to overflow a and that is not normally submerged (Ayoade, 1988). Floods could be classified based on location such as coastal flood and urban flood (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012). It is coastal flood when it occurs along river banks, and it is urban flood when it occurs in an urbanized environment, towns and cities (Efe, 2007).

          It is said to know that flooding in the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria is a rampant issue and a menace (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Globally, environments and citizens of various nations, including Nigeria. The environment which is the heart of economic, social, cultural and human activities has been disrupted by man’s neglect and abuse of the environment. Pollutions, flooding, deforestation, erosion, landslides, global warming, etc. are the aftermaths of this abuse in the ecosystem  (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Waugh (2015) stated that “natural (environmental) balance is being frequency and serious consequences”.

          Flooding is one of the environmental problems that have confronted man since immemorial. Flooding is a widespread and age long phenomenon. In Orerokpe, flooding has created and causes untold hardship such as destruction of building and properties, interruption of socio-economic development of the area.

          Rashid (1982) as cited in Jon (2011), defined flooding as a condition, which exist when any overland flow over an urban or rural area, that is sufficient to cause property damage, health hazard, nuisance and the obstruction of the socio-economic activities in the area. He went further the types of flooding to include rivers flood, flash flood, splash flood and flood bondages.

          Miller (2009) stated that, some of the ways n which human activities has increased the probability of flooding is by removing vegetation, through lumbering operations, over grazing by livestock, constructional activities, certain mining activities, and urbanization. He said that when vegetation is removed by human activities precipitation reaches stream more directly, often with large load of sediment which increase the chances of flooding which later flow over urban and rural communities thereby causing severe effect on the socio-economic activities of such areas.

          Flooding has a wide range of influence on the interaction between man and his environment, thus they emphasized the limitation of man in attempting to control the shear force of nature as they occur either in developed or developed or developing society and they are always associated with loss of lives and properties, hardship, diseases and in most cases affects the socio-economic activities of the region. The growth of Oreropke, has generated several problems to the area, in the cause of urbanization. The most dominant problem is the frequent flooding of the area during rainy season that has led several damage to life, properties and hindered the socio-economic activities of the people. This has prompted the researcher to carry out this study in order to truly examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Oreropke and its environ.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          The Orerokpe are is saturated on a flat terrain which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which constitute the drainage basin of the entire area. This area experience a long duration of rainy seasons in the area overflow the poor drainage channels thereby resulting in severe flooding. In the areas where flooding has occur, the farms, market places and commercial areas n most cases are usually flooded with water. It has been observed that as a result of the flooding in both the urban and rural areas, the flood has often constitute a serious problem to the socio-economic activities of the people. This is to say that flooding itself is a problem and must be tackled with all seriousness to prevent further damage.

          Over the years, flood hazards has constituted a threat to the coastal and urban inhabitants of Nigeria and the world at large; so that it now forms news headlines in most electronic and printed media; most especially during the rainy period. For instance, flood has accounted for large proportion of losses, especially in the case of death (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012).

          It has also been observed that improper planning has resulted to flooding, because in most areas, it was observed that building and other structures, were built across and along flood water path as well as flood plains, thus obstructing the flow of storm run-off, which result in the redirection of storm-off into the streets, farmland, market places to cause flash flood. Whenever this flood occurs, there is interruption of socio-economic activities and destruction of other commercial activities such as hawking of goods, selling of farm produce, etc.

          Thus, in the areas of flooding most of the residents in the area also stay indoors and all forms of activities be it farming, business, education, etc. are halted as a result of the inundation of open space in the streets by flood water. There is a drastic reduction of socio-economic activities due to flood in the area. Most times farms are flooded for months which leads to premature harvest of farm crops and produce thus becoming a great season lost to farmers.

          The 2012 rainy season in Nigeria has been worse than earlier years, and heavy rains at the end of August and the beginning of September led to serious floods in most parts of the country. The Nigerian authorities contained the initial excess run-off through contingency measures, but during the last week of September water reservoirs have overflow and authorities were obliged to open dams to relive pressure on both Nigeria and Neighbouring Cameron and Niger, leading to destroyed river banks and infrastructure, loss of property and livestock and flash floods in many areas. By 29th September, 2012, the flood has affect 134,371 people, displaced 64,437, injured 202 and linked 148 (IFRC, 2012). By the end October, more than 7.7million people had been affected by the floods, and more than 2.1 had registered as IDPS, 363 people were reported dead, almost 600,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Out of the Nigeria’s 36 states, 32 have been affected by the floods (OCHA, 2012).

          By January 2013, the rivers were back at their usual water level and further flooding was not expected in the short term (IFRC, 2013; NEMA, 2013). During this flooded period, socio-economic activities in the affected particularly in Orerokpe was severely hampered thus affecting the source of livelihood of the people. It is of this view that study is carried out to offer suggestion/remedies to address the above problems.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

          The aim of this study is to examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

Specifically, the objectives of this study includes, to;

  1. Identify the areas of flooding in the study area.
  2. Examine the causes of flooding in the study area.
  3. Examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.
  4. Identify the various socio-economic activities in the study area.
  5. To offer suggestion (s) to the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities in the study area.

1.4     Research Hypothesis

          The following hypothesis be tested in this study;

H0:      There is no significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

H1:      There is significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

1.5     Significance of the Study

          This study will cover the whole of Orerokpe community and its to look at the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of the study area. It would also offer suggestion (s) on the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants of Orerokpe.

          Therefore, the study will help to unfold the deteriorating effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ and other related land use in Orerokpe, and aso to look at the various cause (s) of flooding and the areas mostly affected by flooding in the study area and also to look at or proffer solution (s) to combat the flooding problem (s) on the socio-economic activities of the people in the study area.

1.6     STUDY AREA

          The study area, Orerokpe is located in the south-south geo-political and in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study area will be discuss under the following sub-heading;

1.6.1  Location and Size

          The present study are, Orerokpe lies between latitudes 503810011 North of the equator and longitudes 50541 0011 East of the Greenwich Meridian. Orerokpe which happens to be the headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State is bounded in the North by Ethiope West and Sapele Local Government Areas, in the south by Ugheli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Study Area
 
Fig 1: Map of Delta State Showing the Study Area
N
E
S
W

The people of Orerokpe are mainly dominated by the Urhobo speaking dialect. The region falls under the Okpe Kingdom whose traditional ruler is the Orodje of Okpe which was established in the 17th century. Till date the authority of the Orodje of Okpe still dominates other neigbouring communities such as Sapale (Asagba, 2005). The region covers an area of about 21.6km (13.4miles).

Orerokpe as an urban area has experienced a rapid increase in size over the years, due to the presence of various administrative offices, as a result of the presence of various ministries and government offices in the area. This attract people from surrounding area, to itself, because of its employment opportunities, thus resulting in over-crowding, increased demand for housing, pressure on available land resources, social infrastructures, etc.

The implication of these increase in size, is that infiltration capacity has been reduced due to the replacement of vegetation with building and impervious urban surface without properly developed storm sewers or drainage system, leading to generation of runoff (water) which causes flash floods in the streets and farmlands.

1.6.2  Relief and Drainage System

Orerokpe lies within the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, the area is characterized by heavy rainfall, high temperature and the resultant rainforest trees. The area is about 100-350 meters above sea level. About two third of the area is swampy and uninhabitable. Within these area, there are a number of elevated patches of land with streams and the popular Orerokpe River.

Orerokpe lies within the fresh water swamp forest region of Nigeria, where water is constantly supplied by heavy rainfall and rivers, evaporation is reduced to minimum by high relative humidity and drainage is rendered almost impossible by the level of the topography (Ilieoje, 1981). The implication of this is that whenever there is heavy rainfall, the runoff (water) and thus accumulates on the adjoining low lying terrain causing flood.

Another major implication of the presence a River and streams is that during the rainy season which is usually long, they over-flow their inadequate drainage channels area and food water often collect in the low lying terrain make runoff (water) generated by heavy rainfall very slow thereby resulting in flooding also.

1.6.3  Climate

Orerokpe falls under the equatorial region, that experiences rainfall throughout the year. The rainfall is well distributed, and there is no month without rain and there is a distinct dry season. Based on the information obtained from repeated studies Orerokpe and Okpe at large has an annual average rainfall distribution of about 2000mm-3000mm. During the rainy season, rainfall intensity and magnitude recorded falls between March to November with a short break in the month of August, while dry season last from Mid November to February. (Asagba, 2005).

The temperature of the study area, observed n repeated studies disclose that there is a uniform temperature throughout the year. The mean monthly temperature is around 27.50c with little variation. Thus, the annual range temperature is 5.30c.

Consequently, the implication of this temperature is that the process of evapo-transpiration is greatly accelerated resulting to high rainfall which can cause flooding. Also the implication of the high intensity and high magnitude rainfall. On the humus, clayish, soil particles of Orerokpe stream and river is that there are capacity loading to the generation of much runoff and consequently resulting to flooding.

1.6.4  Vegetation and Soil

Orerokpe and its environ falls under the equatorial rainforest belt with tall trees (60m, 50m and 40m tall in height for upper, middle and lower layer/canopy respectively and luxuriant plants. The area has oil palms and raffia palms and the vegetation here is a typical rainforest with swamp in most areas. The area has numerous streams and rivers bordered by mangrove trees prominent among such rivers are Orerokpe River, Warri, River, Ethiope River, etc.

Orerokpe is located in the zone of Alluvia soil, which is flood in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. The soil type are muddy, grey in colour and usually water logged or poorly drained (Ilioje, 1981). The result of this soil type, is that it has a low rate of infiltration, thus during heavy precipitation, where rainfall intensity exceeds infiltration capacity water begin to accumulate on the soil surface and general high storm runoff which result into flooding. Furthermore, due to poorly drained soil, it often takes quits some time before flood water drains or dries off in the area, time some flood last for weeks or even months.

1.6.5  Socio-economic Activities

Orerokpe is a small community in Nigeria having 5,6944 inhabitants 9Federal Bureau of statistics, 2007; National Population Census, 20160 and it’s the administrative headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. This rapid increase in population exerted pressure on the vegetation cover exemplified by deforestation as demand for space increases in the face of competing needs. This has resulted to flooding which have had adverse effect on the socio-economic activities of this increasing population.

Land use within the town is not orderly and varies between residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural types with each dominating according to the perceived interest of the landowners. The land use type has obvious implications on the vegetation cover within and around its area of influence and could affect the socio-economic activities of the people through flooding problems as envisaged in this study.

The inhabitants of this area are mostly engaged in commercial activities, while secondary and tertiary activities dominates the Orerokpe main town. The primary activities carried out in the area (which is the getting of raw materials through agricultural processes) covers all farming activities. The secondary activities include, the use of the raw materials been extracted to product finish goods. The use of cassava in processing of garri, palm fruits product in making of palm oil and the branches raffia palms for making brooms. Also a tertiary activities is the economic activities which take pace in the area. These include skill such as hairdressing, tailoring, weaving, beading, furniture/carpentry, etc.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this research work was strictly based on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ. And to offer suggestion (s) on the effect of flooding on the socio-economic of the Orerokpe inhabitants.

The scope of the study was initially designed to cover all streets in Orerokpe. However, because of time and financial constraints the scope was salad down. In this regard only selected major streets/quarters were covered in this study. The researcher was also carrying out this study and at the same time battling with academic work. Language and communication barrier almost hindered the continuation of this research work as the researcher was unable to access remote areas and areas severely affected by flooding.

These limitation notwithstanding, the data generated from this study and research finding will be of invaluable assistance of the management of flood problems.

1.8     Definition of Term

The researcher defined the following key terms as applicable to the study for clarity and simplicity sake.

  1. Activities: A thing that one does for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim.
  2. Economic: Connected with the economy of a country or an area, or with the money that a society or an individual has.
  3. Socio: Connected with society or the study of society.
  4. Socio-Economic: Something that one does for the interest of generating income for a country or a society, i.e boasting the country’s economy.      
  5. Effects: AA change that somebody/something causes n somebody or something else.
  6. Flooding: A large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry.
  7. Surface Runoff: Rain, water or other liquid that runoff land into streams and rivers.
  8. Environ: The area surrounding a place.
  9. Environment: The natural world in which people, animals and plants live.
  10. Envisage: To imagine what will happen in the future.                

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

          The environmental resources in Orerokpe most especially the land and soil resources are greatly threaten by flooding. The Orerokpe environ is covered by beautiful vegetation naturally checking the menace. This flooding and erosion menace has destroyed arable land for agricultural purposes which is the major socio-economic activities of the Orerokpe people. The government in his attempt to curb the situation has constructed a drainage system some meters away from the major road to redirect and channel all the water flowing to the erosion sites into the drainage system which is emptied into the river. Despite all this effort, the situation still remain the same.

          Flood refers to the inundation of a place that is usually dry resulting from the rising and over flowing of a body of water or water rising to overflow a and that is not normally submerged (Ayoade, 1988). Floods could be classified based on location such as coastal flood and urban flood (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012). It is coastal flood when it occurs along river banks, and it is urban flood when it occurs in an urbanized environment, towns and cities (Efe, 2007).

          It is said to know that flooding in the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria is a rampant issue and a menace (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Globally, environments and citizens of various nations, including Nigeria. The environment which is the heart of economic, social, cultural and human activities has been disrupted by man’s neglect and abuse of the environment. Pollutions, flooding, deforestation, erosion, landslides, global warming, etc. are the aftermaths of this abuse in the ecosystem  (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Waugh (2015) stated that “natural (environmental) balance is being frequency and serious consequences”.

          Flooding is one of the environmental problems that have confronted man since immemorial. Flooding is a widespread and age long phenomenon. In Orerokpe, flooding has created and causes untold hardship such as destruction of building and properties, interruption of socio-economic development of the area.

          Rashid (1982) as cited in Jon (2011), defined flooding as a condition, which exist when any overland flow over an urban or rural area, that is sufficient to cause property damage, health hazard, nuisance and the obstruction of the socio-economic activities in the area. He went further the types of flooding to include rivers flood, flash flood, splash flood and flood bondages.

          Miller (2009) stated that, some of the ways n which human activities has increased the probability of flooding is by removing vegetation, through lumbering operations, over grazing by livestock, constructional activities, certain mining activities, and urbanization. He said that when vegetation is removed by human activities precipitation reaches stream more directly, often with large load of sediment which increase the chances of flooding which later flow over urban and rural communities thereby causing severe effect on the socio-economic activities of such areas.

          Flooding has a wide range of influence on the interaction between man and his environment, thus they emphasized the limitation of man in attempting to control the shear force of nature as they occur either in developed or developed or developing society and they are always associated with loss of lives and properties, hardship, diseases and in most cases affects the socio-economic activities of the region. The growth of Oreropke, has generated several problems to the area, in the cause of urbanization. The most dominant problem is the frequent flooding of the area during rainy season that has led several damage to life, properties and hindered the socio-economic activities of the people. This has prompted the researcher to carry out this study in order to truly examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Oreropke and its environ.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          The Orerokpe are is saturated on a flat terrain which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which constitute the drainage basin of the entire area. This area experience a long duration of rainy seasons in the area overflow the poor drainage channels thereby resulting in severe flooding. In the areas where flooding has occur, the farms, market places and commercial areas n most cases are usually flooded with water. It has been observed that as a result of the flooding in both the urban and rural areas, the flood has often constitute a serious problem to the socio-economic activities of the people. This is to say that flooding itself is a problem and must be tackled with all seriousness to prevent further damage.

          Over the years, flood hazards has constituted a threat to the coastal and urban inhabitants of Nigeria and the world at large; so that it now forms news headlines in most electronic and printed media; most especially during the rainy period. For instance, flood has accounted for large proportion of losses, especially in the case of death (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012).

          It has also been observed that improper planning has resulted to flooding, because in most areas, it was observed that building and other structures, were built across and along flood water path as well as flood plains, thus obstructing the flow of storm run-off, which result in the redirection of storm-off into the streets, farmland, market places to cause flash flood. Whenever this flood occurs, there is interruption of socio-economic activities and destruction of other commercial activities such as hawking of goods, selling of farm produce, etc.

          Thus, in the areas of flooding most of the residents in the area also stay indoors and all forms of activities be it farming, business, education, etc. are halted as a result of the inundation of open space in the streets by flood water. There is a drastic reduction of socio-economic activities due to flood in the area. Most times farms are flooded for months which leads to premature harvest of farm crops and produce thus becoming a great season lost to farmers.

          The 2012 rainy season in Nigeria has been worse than earlier years, and heavy rains at the end of August and the beginning of September led to serious floods in most parts of the country. The Nigerian authorities contained the initial excess run-off through contingency measures, but during the last week of September water reservoirs have overflow and authorities were obliged to open dams to relive pressure on both Nigeria and Neighbouring Cameron and Niger, leading to destroyed river banks and infrastructure, loss of property and livestock and flash floods in many areas. By 29th September, 2012, the flood has affect 134,371 people, displaced 64,437, injured 202 and linked 148 (IFRC, 2012). By the end October, more than 7.7million people had been affected by the floods, and more than 2.1 had registered as IDPS, 363 people were reported dead, almost 600,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Out of the Nigeria’s 36 states, 32 have been affected by the floods (OCHA, 2012).

          By January 2013, the rivers were back at their usual water level and further flooding was not expected in the short term (IFRC, 2013; NEMA, 2013). During this flooded period, socio-economic activities in the affected particularly in Orerokpe was severely hampered thus affecting the source of livelihood of the people. It is of this view that study is carried out to offer suggestion/remedies to address the above problems.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

          The aim of this study is to examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

Specifically, the objectives of this study includes, to;

  1. Identify the areas of flooding in the study area.
  2. Examine the causes of flooding in the study area.
  3. Examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.
  4. Identify the various socio-economic activities in the study area.
  5. To offer suggestion (s) to the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities in the study area.

1.4     Research Hypothesis

          The following hypothesis be tested in this study;

H0:      There is no significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

H1:      There is significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

1.5     Significance of the Study

          This study will cover the whole of Orerokpe community and its to look at the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of the study area. It would also offer suggestion (s) on the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants of Orerokpe.

          Therefore, the study will help to unfold the deteriorating effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ and other related land use in Orerokpe, and aso to look at the various cause (s) of flooding and the areas mostly affected by flooding in the study area and also to look at or proffer solution (s) to combat the flooding problem (s) on the socio-economic activities of the people in the study area.

1.6     STUDY AREA

          The study area, Orerokpe is located in the south-south geo-political and in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study area will be discuss under the following sub-heading;

1.6.1  Location and Size

          The present study are, Orerokpe lies between latitudes 503810011 North of the equator and longitudes 50541 0011 East of the Greenwich Meridian. Orerokpe which happens to be the headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State is bounded in the North by Ethiope West and Sapele Local Government Areas, in the south by Ugheli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Study Area
 
Fig 1: Map of Delta State Showing the Study Area
N
E
S
W

The people of Orerokpe are mainly dominated by the Urhobo speaking dialect. The region falls under the Okpe Kingdom whose traditional ruler is the Orodje of Okpe which was established in the 17th century. Till date the authority of the Orodje of Okpe still dominates other neigbouring communities such as Sapale (Asagba, 2005). The region covers an area of about 21.6km (13.4miles).

Orerokpe as an urban area has experienced a rapid increase in size over the years, due to the presence of various administrative offices, as a result of the presence of various ministries and government offices in the area. This attract people from surrounding area, to itself, because of its employment opportunities, thus resulting in over-crowding, increased demand for housing, pressure on available land resources, social infrastructures, etc.

The implication of these increase in size, is that infiltration capacity has been reduced due to the replacement of vegetation with building and impervious urban surface without properly developed storm sewers or drainage system, leading to generation of runoff (water) which causes flash floods in the streets and farmlands.

1.6.2  Relief and Drainage System

Orerokpe lies within the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, the area is characterized by heavy rainfall, high temperature and the resultant rainforest trees. The area is about 100-350 meters above sea level. About two third of the area is swampy and uninhabitable. Within these area, there are a number of elevated patches of land with streams and the popular Orerokpe River.

Orerokpe lies within the fresh water swamp forest region of Nigeria, where water is constantly supplied by heavy rainfall and rivers, evaporation is reduced to minimum by high relative humidity and drainage is rendered almost impossible by the level of the topography (Ilieoje, 1981). The implication of this is that whenever there is heavy rainfall, the runoff (water) and thus accumulates on the adjoining low lying terrain causing flood.

Another major implication of the presence a River and streams is that during the rainy season which is usually long, they over-flow their inadequate drainage channels area and food water often collect in the low lying terrain make runoff (water) generated by heavy rainfall very slow thereby resulting in flooding also.

1.6.3  Climate

Orerokpe falls under the equatorial region, that experiences rainfall throughout the year. The rainfall is well distributed, and there is no month without rain and there is a distinct dry season. Based on the information obtained from repeated studies Orerokpe and Okpe at large has an annual average rainfall distribution of about 2000mm-3000mm. During the rainy season, rainfall intensity and magnitude recorded falls between March to November with a short break in the month of August, while dry season last from Mid November to February. (Asagba, 2005).

The temperature of the study area, observed n repeated studies disclose that there is a uniform temperature throughout the year. The mean monthly temperature is around 27.50c with little variation. Thus, the annual range temperature is 5.30c.

Consequently, the implication of this temperature is that the process of evapo-transpiration is greatly accelerated resulting to high rainfall which can cause flooding. Also the implication of the high intensity and high magnitude rainfall. On the humus, clayish, soil particles of Orerokpe stream and river is that there are capacity loading to the generation of much runoff and consequently resulting to flooding.

1.6.4  Vegetation and Soil

Orerokpe and its environ falls under the equatorial rainforest belt with tall trees (60m, 50m and 40m tall in height for upper, middle and lower layer/canopy respectively and luxuriant plants. The area has oil palms and raffia palms and the vegetation here is a typical rainforest with swamp in most areas. The area has numerous streams and rivers bordered by mangrove trees prominent among such rivers are Orerokpe River, Warri, River, Ethiope River, etc.

Orerokpe is located in the zone of Alluvia soil, which is flood in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. The soil type are muddy, grey in colour and usually water logged or poorly drained (Ilioje, 1981). The result of this soil type, is that it has a low rate of infiltration, thus during heavy precipitation, where rainfall intensity exceeds infiltration capacity water begin to accumulate on the soil surface and general high storm runoff which result into flooding. Furthermore, due to poorly drained soil, it often takes quits some time before flood water drains or dries off in the area, time some flood last for weeks or even months.

1.6.5  Socio-economic Activities

Orerokpe is a small community in Nigeria having 5,6944 inhabitants 9Federal Bureau of statistics, 2007; National Population Census, 20160 and it’s the administrative headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. This rapid increase in population exerted pressure on the vegetation cover exemplified by deforestation as demand for space increases in the face of competing needs. This has resulted to flooding which have had adverse effect on the socio-economic activities of this increasing population.

Land use within the town is not orderly and varies between residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural types with each dominating according to the perceived interest of the landowners. The land use type has obvious implications on the vegetation cover within and around its area of influence and could affect the socio-economic activities of the people through flooding problems as envisaged in this study.

The inhabitants of this area are mostly engaged in commercial activities, while secondary and tertiary activities dominates the Orerokpe main town. The primary activities carried out in the area (which is the getting of raw materials through agricultural processes) covers all farming activities. The secondary activities include, the use of the raw materials been extracted to product finish goods. The use of cassava in processing of garri, palm fruits product in making of palm oil and the branches raffia palms for making brooms. Also a tertiary activities is the economic activities which take pace in the area. These include skill such as hairdressing, tailoring, weaving, beading, furniture/carpentry, etc.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of this research work was strictly based on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ. And to offer suggestion (s) on the effect of flooding on the socio-economic of the Orerokpe inhabitants.

The scope of the study was initially designed to cover all streets in Orerokpe. However, because of time and financial constraints the scope was salad down. In this regard only selected major streets/quarters were covered in this study. The researcher was also carrying out this study and at the same time battling with academic work. Language and communication barrier almost hindered the continuation of this research work as the researcher was unable to access remote areas and areas severely affected by flooding.

These limitation notwithstanding, the data generated from this study and research finding will be of invaluable assistance of the management of flood problems.

1.8     Definition of Term

The researcher defined the following key terms as applicable to the study for clarity and simplicity sake.

  1. Activities: A thing that one does for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim.
  2. Economic: Connected with the economy of a country or an area, or with the money that a society or an individual has.
  3. Socio: Connected with society or the study of society.
  4. Socio-Economic: Something that one does for the interest of generating income for a country or a society, i.e boasting the country’s economy.      
  5. Effects: AA change that somebody/something causes n somebody or something else.
  6. Flooding: A large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry.
  7. Surface Runoff: Rain, water or other liquid that runoff land into streams and rivers.
  8. Environ: The area surrounding a place.
  9. Environment: The natural world in which people, animals and plants live.
  10. Envisage: To imagine what will happen in the future.                

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the Study

          The environmental resources in Orerokpe most especially the land and soil resources are greatly threaten by flooding. The Orerokpe environ is covered by beautiful vegetation naturally checking the menace. This flooding and erosion menace has destroyed arable land for agricultural purposes which is the major socio-economic activities of the Orerokpe people. The government in his attempt to curb the situation has constructed a drainage system some meters away from the major road to redirect and channel all the water flowing to the erosion sites into the drainage system which is emptied into the river. Despite all this effort, the situation still remain the same.

          Flood refers to the inundation of a place that is usually dry resulting from the rising and over flowing of a body of water or water rising to overflow a and that is not normally submerged (Ayoade, 1988). Floods could be classified based on location such as coastal flood and urban flood (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012). It is coastal flood when it occurs along river banks, and it is urban flood when it occurs in an urbanized environment, towns and cities (Efe, 2007).

          It is said to know that flooding in the south-south geo-political zone of Nigeria is a rampant issue and a menace (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Globally, environments and citizens of various nations, including Nigeria. The environment which is the heart of economic, social, cultural and human activities has been disrupted by man’s neglect and abuse of the environment. Pollutions, flooding, deforestation, erosion, landslides, global warming, etc. are the aftermaths of this abuse in the ecosystem   (Victor and Onyemachi, 2009). Waugh (2015) stated that “natural (environmental) balance is being frequency and serious consequences”.

          Flooding is one of the environmental problems that have confronted man since immemorial. Flooding is a widespread and age long phenomenon. In Orerokpe, flooding has created and causes untold hardship such as destruction of building and properties, interruption of socio-economic development of the area.

          Rashid (1982) as cited in Jon (2011), defined flooding as a condition, which exist when any overland flow over an urban or rural area, that is sufficient to cause property damage, health hazard, nuisance and the obstruction of the socio-economic activities in the area. He went further the types of flooding to include rivers flood, flash flood, splash flood and flood bondages.

          Miller (2009) stated that, some of the ways n which human activities has increased the probability of flooding is by removing vegetation, through lumbering operations, over grazing by livestock, constructional activities, certain mining activities, and urbanization. He said that when vegetation is removed by human activities precipitation reaches stream more directly, often with large load of sediment which increase the chances of flooding which later flow over urban and rural communities thereby causing severe effect on the socio-economic activities of such areas.

          Flooding has a wide range of influence on the interaction between man and his environment, thus they emphasized the limitation of man in attempting to control the shear force of nature as they occur either in developed or developed or developing society and they are always associated with loss of lives and properties, hardship, diseases and in most cases affects the socio-economic activities of the region. The growth of Oreropke, has generated several problems to the area, in the cause of urbanization. The most dominant problem is the frequent flooding of the area during rainy season that has led several damage to life, properties and hindered the socio-economic activities of the people. This has prompted the researcher to carry out this study in order to truly examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Oreropke and its environ.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

          The Orerokpe are is saturated on a flat terrain which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which is poorly drained by the adjoining rivers which constitute the drainage basin of the entire area. This area experience a long duration of rainy seasons in the area overflow the poor drainage channels thereby resulting in severe flooding. In the areas where flooding has occur, the farms, market places and commercial areas n most cases are usually flooded with water. It has been observed that as a result of the flooding in both the urban and rural areas, the flood has often constitute a serious problem to the socio-economic activities of the people. This is to say that flooding itself is a problem and must be tackled with all seriousness to prevent further damage.

          Over the years, flood hazards has constituted a threat to the coastal and urban inhabitants of Nigeria and the world at large; so that it now forms news headlines in most electronic and printed media; most especially during the rainy period. For instance, flood has accounted for large proportion of losses, especially in the case of death (Efe and Mogborukor, 2010; Mogborukor, 2012).

          It has also been observed that improper planning has resulted to flooding, because in most areas, it was observed that building and other structures, were built across and along flood water path as well as flood plains, thus obstructing the flow of storm run-off, which result in the redirection of storm-off into the streets, farmland, market places to cause flash flood. Whenever this flood occurs, there is interruption of socio-economic activities and destruction of other commercial activities such as hawking of goods, selling of farm produce, etc.

          Thus, in the areas of flooding most of the residents in the area also stay indoors and all forms of activities be it farming, business, education, etc. are halted as a result of the inundation of open space in the streets by flood water. There is a drastic reduction of socio-economic activities due to flood in the area. Most times farms are flooded for months which leads to premature harvest of farm crops and produce thus becoming a great season lost to farmers.

          The 2012 rainy season in Nigeria has been worse than earlier years, and heavy rains at the end of August and the beginning of September led to serious floods in most parts of the country. The Nigerian authorities contained the initial excess run-off through contingency measures, but during the last week of September water reservoirs have overflow and authorities were obliged to open dams to relive pressure on both Nigeria and Neighbouring Cameron and Niger, leading to destroyed river banks and infrastructure, loss of property and livestock and flash floods in many areas. By 29th September, 2012, the flood has affect 134,371 people, displaced 64,437, injured 202 and linked 148 (IFRC, 2012). By the end October, more than 7.7million people had been affected by the floods, and more than 2.1 had registered as IDPS, 363 people were reported dead, almost 600,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. Out of the Nigeria’s 36 states, 32 have been affected by the floods (OCHA, 2012).

          By January 2013, the rivers were back at their usual water level and further flooding was not expected in the short term (IFRC, 2013; NEMA, 2013). During this flooded period, socio-economic activities in the affected particularly in Orerokpe was severely hampered thus affecting the source of livelihood of the people. It is of this view that study is carried out to offer suggestion/remedies to address the above problems.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

          The aim of this study is to examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

Specifically, the objectives of this study includes, to;

1.     Identify the areas of flooding in the study area.

2.     Examine the causes of flooding in the study area.

3.     Examine the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

4.     Identify the various socio-economic activities in the study area.

5.     To offer suggestion (s) to the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities in the study area.

1.4     Research Hypothesis

          The following hypothesis be tested in this study;

H0:      There is no significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

H1:      There is significant relationship between the effects of flooding and the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ.

1.5     Significance of the Study

          This study will cover the whole of Orerokpe community and its to look at the effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of the study area. It would also offer suggestion (s) on the causes of flooding and its effect on the socio-economic activities of the inhabitants of Orerokpe.

          Therefore, the study will help to unfold the deteriorating effects of flooding on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ and other related land use in Orerokpe, and aso to look at the various cause (s) of flooding and the areas mostly affected by flooding in the study area and also to look at or proffer solution (s) to combat the flooding problem (s) on the socio-economic activities of the people in the study area.

1.6     STUDY AREA

          The study area, Orerokpe is located in the south-south geo-political and in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The study area will be discuss under the following sub-heading;

1.6.1  Location and Size

          The present study are, Orerokpe lies between latitudes 503810011 North of the equator and longitudes 50541 0011 East of the Greenwich Meridian. Orerokpe which happens to be the headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State is bounded in the North by Ethiope West and Sapele Local Government Areas, in the south by Ugheli South Local Government Area of Delta State.

Study Area

Fig 1: Map of Delta State Showing the Study Area

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The people of Orerokpe are mainly dominated by the Urhobo speaking dialect. The region falls under the Okpe Kingdom whose traditional ruler is the Orodje of Okpe which was established in the 17th century. Till date the authority of the Orodje of Okpe still dominates other neigbouring communities such as Sapale (Asagba, 2005). The region covers an area of about 21.6km (13.4miles).

Orerokpe as an urban area has experienced a rapid increase in size over the years, due to the presence of various administrative offices, as a result of the presence of various ministries and government offices in the area. This attract people from surrounding area, to itself, because of its employment opportunities, thus resulting in over-crowding, increased demand for housing, pressure on available land resources, social infrastructures, etc.

The implication of these increase in size, is that infiltration capacity has been reduced due to the replacement of vegetation with building and impervious urban surface without properly developed storm sewers or drainage system, leading to generation of runoff (water) which causes flash floods in the streets and farmlands.

1.6.2  Relief and Drainage System

Orerokpe lies within the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, the area is characterized by heavy rainfall, high temperature and the resultant rainforest trees. The area is about 100-350 meters above sea level. About two third of the area is swampy and uninhabitable. Within these area, there are a number of elevated patches of land with streams and the popular Orerokpe River.

Orerokpe lies within the fresh water swamp forest region of Nigeria, where water is constantly supplied by heavy rainfall and rivers, evaporation is reduced to minimum by high relative humidity and drainage is rendered almost impossible by the level of the topography (Ilieoje, 1981). The implication of this is that whenever there is heavy rainfall, the runoff (water) and thus accumulates on the adjoining low lying terrain causing flood.

Another major implication of the presence a River and streams is that during the rainy season which is usually long, they over-flow their inadequate drainage channels area and food water often collect in the low lying terrain make runoff (water) generated by heavy rainfall very slow thereby resulting in flooding also.

1.6.3  Climate

Orerokpe falls under the equatorial region, that experiences rainfall throughout the year. The rainfall is well distributed, and there is no month without rain and there is a distinct dry season. Based on the information obtained from repeated studies Orerokpe and Okpe at large has an annual average rainfall distribution of about 2000mm-3000mm. During the rainy season, rainfall intensity and magnitude recorded falls between March to November with a short break in the month of August, while dry season last from Mid November to February. (Asagba, 2005).

The temperature of the study area, observed n repeated studies disclose that there is a uniform temperature throughout the year. The mean monthly temperature is around 27.50c with little variation. Thus, the annual range temperature is 5.30c.

Consequently, the implication of this temperature is that the process of evapo-transpiration is greatly accelerated resulting to high rainfall which can cause flooding. Also the implication of the high intensity and high magnitude rainfall. On the humus, clayish, soil particles of Orerokpe stream and river is that there are capacity loading to the generation of much runoff and consequently resulting to flooding.

1.6.4  Vegetation and Soil

Orerokpe and its environ falls under the equatorial rainforest belt with tall trees (60m, 50m and 40m tall in height for upper, middle and lower layer/canopy respectively and luxuriant plants. The area has oil palms and raffia palms and the vegetation here is a typical rainforest with swamp in most areas. The area has numerous streams and rivers bordered by mangrove trees prominent among such rivers are Orerokpe River, Warri, River, Ethiope River, etc.

Orerokpe is located in the zone of Alluvia soil, which is flood in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria. The soil type are muddy, grey in colour and usually water logged or poorly drained (Ilioje, 1981). The result of this soil type, is that it has a low rate of infiltration, thus during heavy precipitation, where rainfall intensity exceeds infiltration capacity water begin to accumulate on the soil surface and general high storm runoff which result into flooding. Furthermore, due to poorly drained soil, it often takes quits some time before flood water drains or dries off in the area, time some flood last for weeks or even months.

1.6.5  Socio-economic Activities

Orerokpe is a small community in Nigeria having 5,6944 inhabitants 9Federal Bureau of statistics, 2007; National Population Census, 20160 and it’s the administrative headquarter of Okpe Local Government Area of Delta State. This rapid increase in population exerted pressure on the vegetation cover exemplified by deforestation as demand for space increases in the face of competing needs. This has resulted to flooding which have had adverse effect on the socio-economic activities of this increasing population.

Land use within the town is not orderly and varies between residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural types with each dominating according to the perceived interest of the landowners. The land use type has obvious implications on the vegetation cover within and around its area of influence and could affect the socio-economic activities of the people through flooding problems as envisaged in this study.

The inhabitants of this area are mostly engaged in commercial activities, while secondary and tertiary activities dominates the Orerokpe main town. The primary activities carried out in the area (which is the getting of raw materials through agricultural processes) covers all farming activities. The secondary activities include, the use of the raw materials been extracted to product finish goods. The use of cassava in processing of garri, palm fruits product in making of palm oil and the branches raffia palms for making brooms. Also a tertiary activities is the economic activities which take pace in the area. These include skill such as hairdressing, tailoring, weaving, beading, furniture/carpentry, etc.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study 

The scope of this research work was strictly based on the socio-economic activities of Orerokpe and its environ. And to offer suggestion (s) on the effect of flooding on the socio-economic of the Orerokpe inhabitants.

The scope of the study was initially designed to cover all streets in Orerokpe. However, because of time and financial constraints the scope was salad down. In this regard only selected major streets/quarters were covered in this study. The researcher was also carrying out this study and at the same time battling with academic work. Language and communication barrier almost hindered the continuation of this research work as the researcher was unable to access remote areas and areas severely affected by flooding.

These limitation notwithstanding, the data generated from this study and research finding will be of invaluable assistance of the management of flood problems.

1.8     Definition of Term

The researcher defined the following key terms as applicable to the study for clarity and simplicity sake.

1.     Activities: A thing that one does for interest or pleasure, or in order to achieve a particular aim.

2.     Economic: Connected with the economy of a country or an area, or with the money that a society or an individual has.

3.     Socio: Connected with society or the study of society.

4.     Socio-Economic: Something that one does for the interest of generating income for a country or a society, i.e boasting the country’s economy.       

5.     Effects: AA change that somebody/something causes n somebody or something else.

6.     Flooding: A large amount of water covering an area that is usually dry.

7.     Surface Runoff: Rain, water or other liquid that runoff land into streams and rivers.

8.     Environ: The area surrounding a place.

9.     Environment: The natural world in which people, animals and plants live.

10.                        Envisage: To imagine what will happen in the future.                

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