Social Impact and People’s Perception of Flooding in Makurdi Town, Nigeria
This study assesses the social impacts and people’s perception of flooding events in Makurdi town which has almost become a yearly occurrence. Data for this study were obtained from questionnaires, interviews, personal observation, archival records of ministries and newpaper reports. A total of 219 respondents, drawn from residents in flood prone areas, were sampled for this study. Descriptive statistics and Likert Rating System were used in the analyses of the data. The results of analyses show that floods in Makurdi occur mostly at the event of rainfall intensity and amount and especially at the peak of rainy season (August/September). And it takes 1 and 2-3days flood water to recede depending on the magnitude of event. Factors other than rainfall identified to substantially influenced flooding in the study area are: Lack of and poor drainage networks, dumping of wastes/refuse in drainage and water channels, topographic characteristics, overflowing of river banks, low infiltration due to high water table and degree of built up areas leading to increased runoffs, and climate change. Despite the flood hazards, occupants in flood prone have remained on the basis of having no alternative, cultural ethnic affinity, family home place where parent were buried, used to flooding as the whole area suffers from flooding, nature of occupation, and cheaper houses to rent. Personal properties and public infrastructures suffer all forms of flood damages. Flood mitigation measures include river rechannelisation, raising house foundations, use of sand bags, bridges and neighbor community efforts. Public enlightenment and necessary legislation and enforcement are recommended to checkmate activities aiding flooding.