Dr Ifeoluwagbuyi Kitan, an Environmental Consultant on Thursday said lack of planning was the major cause of flooding in the country.
Kitan made this known in an interview with Newsmen in Abuja.
“The bottom line of the flooding witnessed in the country is lack of planning and even when there is planning, the laws are not usually enforced.
“The thing with Makurdi and most of our cities is because of flash floods; this is a sudden and destructive rush of water down a narrow gully or over a sloping surface caused by heavy rainfall.
“It is not even the river flow that is causing trouble; as soon as there is urbanisation this occurs.
“Nigeria’s population is growing faster, and World Bank said by 2050, we will be the third largest country following India and China.
“That is about 30 something years from now, so what is the plan that has been made to cushion the effect of this population when it comes.
“People do not know what they should do when they are building houses near rivers, how many people know about the setback for roads; owners of houses are not told that there should be a setback requirement.
“For anybody building near the river, it is 15 meters or 50ft away from the road or river, if you did not give this distance then you are the one who is inviting the river into your property,’’ she said.
The expert said that for anyone building a plan, he must be able to make room for water to find its way.
“All the places where you have community development, people cut down trees, put interlock or cement the grounds, so there is no place for the rain to penetrate inside the ground.’’
Kitan said that flash floods were common in states like Benue being on the hill.
She said that people build houses by the side hills and cut down all the trees and plants that should absorb water from the ground, thereby, allowing the water to have a free course into the rivers to cause flooding.
Kitan said that for the prevention of this occurrence, government must enforce planning laws and regulations in building houses that stipulate 15 meters or 50 feet from the road.
She said that people should form cooperatives for insurance coverage of their houses, adding the Benue case was not the first time.
“Until people do the needful and take precautions, it will continue to happen,’’ she said.