Poor development control as flood vulnerability factor in Suleja, Nigeria
Keywords:Building standards, development control, flood, solid waste, vulnerability
Like many developing countries over the decade, Nigeria has experienced rapid urbanization associated with numerous problems such as, among others, improper waste management practices, building development regulations and standards contraventions, environmental pollution, overcrowding, and flooding. In light of the foregoing, this article examines the use and effectiveness of development control measures in addressing flood vulnerability in Suleja, Nigeria. In carrying out this study, buildings vulnerable to flooding were identified and factors influencing their vulnerability as well as the implications of non-adherence to development control measures were also determined. As part of this study, a total of 278 questionnaires were administered to adult residents of the study area, using multi-stage sampling techniques. A quick bird’s eye image of 15-meter resolution was used to identify and map out the buildings in the area considered vulnerable to flooding, using a 15-meter setback from the river banks. The study reveals that 799 buildings were built in contravention of building development standards and regulations in Suleja, while indiscriminate solid waste disposal methods were found to be strong factors influencing vulnerability to flooding in the area. The study also revealed that 47% of drainages in Suleja are blocked with indiscriminately disposed solid waste materials. The study recommends that an improved solid waste management system for Suleja be put in place to stem the imminent outbreak of diseases associated with poor environmental management and that development control measures be strictly enforced by the Niger State Urban Development Board.
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