QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE EVIDENCE OF ANTHROPOGENIC FINGERPRINT IN FLOODING IN TARABA STATE OF NIGERIA
Keywords:Anthropogenic, Climate change, Encroachment, Flood, Land use change
Anthropogenic nexus of environmental change is a vital issue in flood control and hazard management. While it is true that some will loom in flood and others in drought, it is no longer valid to argue the authenticity of climate change. Though climate change alters our physical veracities, the problem of yearly flooding is more a human than a natural one in Taraba State. This paper provides technical proof of anthropogenic impression in the incessant flooding in the area. Both spatial and hydro-climatic data were used for this study in addition to designed questionnaire. Hydro and climatic data were collected from Upper Benue River Basin Development Agency, Yola. Correlation matrix was used to show the extent of climatic variation and GIS depicts the land use change. Rainfall has not related well with excess channel flow. Coefficient of variation in rainfall and runoff is not pronounced. R- Factor in all the gauging stations is very low. Built up area occupied just 2.8% of the area accounting for 806.9 hectares. Cultivated area and the bare land was about 13146.2 hectares. This accounts for about 46.3% of the area. Vegetation cover occupied more than half of the study area. This accounts for 50.1% of the land mass of the catchment area under study. Owing to the occurrence of good vegetation cover, which is more than 50% of the basin area, generally one would have expected low occurrence of flooding in the study area. The farmers’ assessment agreed with the scientific analysis. The runoff volumes that traverse the state three decades ago without much disturbance now pose a serious ache. Though Inter catchment link and discharge thereof is a factor, the cogwheel pinpoints land use change and encroachment of floodplain. Parastatals involved in the land survey and planning of the state should wake up to the challenge.
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