Effects of Climatic Variations and Changing Land Use/Land Cover on Flooding in Southern Nigeria

Nwachi Christy Chidiebere, Ogbonna Chukwuemeka Godswill, Ekwe Chidumebi Anthony, Umegboro Johnbosco Ikechukwu


The prevalence of flooding in Nigeria in the past few years (with its devastating consequences) has become a source of concern for policymakers and researchers alike. Scholars have attributed the high frequency of flooding, particularly in the southern region of Nigeria, to several factors; climatic variation and land use/land cover changes are themes that fall under the domain of natural and anthropogenic causes of flooding, respectively. This study examined climatic variations and changing land use/land cover in southern Nigeria with the view of determining their synergistic effects on flooding. We adopted a mixed approach for data collection with the use of Geographic Information System (GIS), retrieval of primary data from meteorological stations in the region, and field surveys. Findings show a significant decrease in rural land uses like arable lands, wetlands, and undisturbed forests; while there was a corresponding increase in urban/peri-urban land uses like settlements and tree-crop plantations over the period from 1999 to 2019. The land use/land cover changes have manifested in the destabilization of the microclimate, distortion of the carbon circle, loss of biodiversity, reduction of ecosystem services of the natural areas, and flooding. The decadal rainfall trends over the past three decades show consistent extremities with mean rainfall duration decreasing while the mean intensity increases; aggravating soil erosion, urban runoff challenges, and flooding. Climatic variations (mainly extreme rainfall patterns) synergize with inefficient land use management to exacerbate flooding in southern Nigeria. While policymakers in this region may not have the standalone capacity to significantly control climate change and the consequential variations in the local microclimate, they can re engineer land use policies to eliminate or substantially degrade anthropogenic factors that exacerbate flooding.


Adegboyega, S., O. Onuoha, K. Adesuji, A. Olajuyigbe, A. Olufemi, and M. Ibitoye (2018). An Integrated Approach to Modelling of Flood Hazards in the Rapidly Growing City of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. Space Science International, 4(1); 1–15

Adeyemi, O. and O. A. Fashae (2018). Urbanisation and Hydraulic Geometry Response: A Model Approach. International Journal of Water, 12(2); 103–115

Agbonkhese, O., E. Agbonkhese, E. Aka, J. Joe-Abaya, M. Ocholi, and A. Adekunle (2014). Flood Menace in Nigeria: Impacts, Remedial and Management Strategies. Civil and Environmental Research, 6(4); 32–40

Akande, A., A. C. Costa, J. Mateu, and R. Henriques (2017). Geospatial Analysis of Extreme Weather Events in Nigeria (1985–2015) Using Self-Organizing Maps. Advances in Meteorology, 2017; 8576150

Anabaraonye, B., J. C. Okafor, and J. Hope (2018). Educating Farmers in Rural Areas on Climate Change Adaptation for Sustainability in Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research, 10(4); 1391–1398

Chikwendu, L., E. Jenkwe, E. Eleazu, and C. Ogbonna (2017). Spatial Appraisal of Problems and Prospects of Fertilizer Use for Agriculture on the Environment in Mbieri, Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Imo State Nigeria. Review of Environment and Earth Sciences, 4(2); 42–50

Dinsa, T. and D. Gemeda (2019). The Role of Wetlands for Climate Change Mitigation and Biodiversity Conservation. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management, 23(7); 1297–1300

Ebele, N. E. and N. V. Emodi (2016). Climate Change and Its Impact in Nigerian Economy. Journal of Scientific Research and Reports, 10(6); 1–13

Echendu, A. J. (2022). Flooding, Food Security and the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria: An Assemblage and Systems Thinking Approach. Social Sciences, 11(2); 59

Elisha, I., B. Sawa, and U. Ejeh (2017). Evidence of Climate Change and Adaptation Strategies among Grain Farmers in Sokoto State, Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Environmental Science, Toxicology and Food Technology (IOSRJESTFT), 11(3); 1–7

Elum, Z. A. and M. Snijder (2023). Climate Change Perception and Adaptation among Farmers in Coastal Communities of Bayelsa State, Nigeria: A Photovoice Study. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 15(5); 745–767

European Commission Joint Research Centre (2018). Update on Floods in Nigeria. JRC Emergency Report

Fashae, O. A., M. N. Tijani, A. E. Adekoya, S. A. Tijani, E. G. Adagbasa, and J. A. Aladejana (2022). Comparative Assessment of the Changing Pattern of Land Cover along the Southwestern Coast of Nigeria Using GIS and Remote Sensing Techniques. Scientific African; e01286

Federal Government of Nigeria (2021). 2050 Long-Term Vision for Nigeria (LTV-2050), Towards the Development of Nigeria’s Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS). UNFCC

Gbiri, I. A. and N. O. Adeoye (2019). Analysis of Pattern and Extent of Deforestation in Akure Forest Reserve, Ondo State, Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Geography, 12(1-2); 1–11

Komolafe, A. A., S. A.-A. Adegboyega, and F. O. Akinluyi (2015). A Review of Flood Risk Analysis in Nigeria. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 11(3); 157–166

Kughur, P., V. Otene, and O. Audu (2015). Effects of Intensive Agricultural Production on the Environment in Benue State, Nigeria. IOSR Journal of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, 8; 2319–2372

Leon, M., G. Cornejo, M. Calder´on, E. Gonz´alez-Carri´on, and H. Florez (2022). Effect of Deforestation on Climate Change: A Co-Integration and Causality Approach with Time Series. Sustainability, 14(18); 11303

Louw, E., C. C. Olanrewaju, O. A. Olanrewaju, and M. Chitakira (2019). Impacts of Flood Disasters in Nigeria: A Critical Evaluation of Health Implications and Management. J`amb´a: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies, 11(1); 1–9

MacLeod, D. A., R. Dankers, R. Graham, K. Guigma, L. Jenkins, M. C. Todd, A. Kiptum, M. Kilavi, A. Njogu, and E. Mwangi (2021). Drivers and Subseasonal Predictability of Heavy Rainfall in Equatorial East Africa and Relationship with Flood Risk. Journal of Hydrometeorology, 22(4); 887–903

Matemilola, S., O. H. Adedeji, I. Elegbede, and F. Kies (2019). Mainstreaming Climate Change into the EIA Process in Nigeria: Perspectives from Projects in the Niger Delta Region. Climate, 7(2); 29

Merem, E. C., Y. Twumasi, J. Wesley, M. Alsarari, S. Fageir, M. Crisler, C. Romorno, D. Olagbegi, A. Hines, and G. Ochai (2019). Regional Assessment of Climate Change Hazards in Southern Nigeria with GIS. Journal of Safety Engineering, 8(1); 9–27

National Bureaux of Statistics [NBS] Nigeria (2020). Demographics Statistics Bulletin. Nigerianstat.gov.ng

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Nigeria (2022). 2022 Flood Reports. NEMA.gov.ng

Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (2020). 2020 Annual Flood Outlook. NIHSA.gov.ng

Njoku, C. G., J. Efiong, and N.-A. N. Ayara (2020). A Geospatial Expose of Flood-Risk and Vulnerable Areas in Nigeria. International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (IJAGR), 11(3); 87–110

Njoku, J. D., T. E. Ebe, and E. C. Pat-Mbano (2010). Detection and Mapping of Land Use and Land Cover Classes of a Developing City in Southeastern Region of Nigeria, using Multi-band Digital Remotely-sensed Data. African Research Review, 4(3); 315–330

Nkiruka, E. M., A. D. Chinedu, and U. N. Smart (2023). Landuse, Landcover Change Dynamics and Flooding in the Lower Niger Basin Onitsha, South Eastern Nigeria. Land Use Policy, 131; 106748

Nkwunonwo, U., M. Whitworth, and B. Baily (2020). A Review of the Current Status of Flood Modelling for Urban Flood Risk Management in the Developing Countries. Scientific African, 7; e00269

Nwachi, C. C., C. G. Ogbonna, and M. A. Wushishi (2023). Usability of Road Infrastructure for Persons with Mobility Impairment. Transactions on Transport Sciences, 14(2); 32–47

Ogbonna, C. G., E. U. Ahuchaogu, C. C. Nwachi, I. O. Okeoma, and R. C. Emeana (2023). Total Suspended Solids Loading of Stormwater from Different Land Use Areas in an Urban Watershed. Journal of Innovations and Sustainability, 7(2); 09

Ominabo, W. D. (2022). 2022 Flood: A Tragedy Foretold. THISDAY

Richard, J. U. and F. I. Okeke (2023). Climate Change and Urban Flooding in South-South Nigeria from 1990-2020. World Journal of Advanced Engineering Technology and Sciences, 8(1); 69–89

Sayne, A. (2011). Climate Change Adaptation and Conflict in Nigeria. JSTOR

Seun, A. I., A. P. Ayodele, D. Koji, and S. O. Akande (2022). The Potential Impact of Increased Urbanization on Land Surface Temperature Over South-West Nigeria. Current Research in Environmental Sustainability, 4; 100142

Sidek, L., H. Basri, L. Lee, and K. Foo (2016). The Performance of Gross Pollutant Trap for Water Quality Preservation: A Real Practical Application at the Klang Valley, Malaysia. Desalination and Water Treatment, 57(52); 24733–24741

Sugianto, S., A. Deli, E. Miswar, M. Rusdi, and M. Irham (2022). The Effect of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Flood Occurrence in Teunom Watershed, Aceh Jaya. Land, 11(8); 1271

Tramblay, Y., G. Villarini, E. M. El Khalki, G. Gr¨undemann, and D. Hughes (2021). Evaluation of the Drivers Responsible for Flooding in Africa. Water Resources Research, 57(6); e2021WR029595

Ulor, C., I. Ekevwe, M. Ugwuanyi, C. Duru, B. Diagi, K. Ukaegbu, N. Cajetan, and M. Iwuji (2022). Spatial Assessment of Temperature, Rainfall and Land Cover Change as Climate Change Monitoring Techniques in Okigwe and Its Environs. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 12(11); 3042–3055

Umar, N. and A. Gray (2023). Flooding in Nigeria: A Review of Its Occurrence and Impacts and Approaches to Modelling Flood Data. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 80(3); 540–561

United States Geological Survey (2022). Earth Explorer, 2022. USGS


Nwachi Christy Chidiebere
Ogbonna Chukwuemeka Godswill
godswill.ogbonna@futo.edu.ng (Primary Contact)
Ekwe Chidumebi Anthony
Umegboro Johnbosco Ikechukwu
Nwachi Christy Chidiebere, Ogbonna Chukwuemeka Godswill, Ekwe Chidumebi Anthony, & Umegboro Johnbosco Ikechukwu. (2024). Effects of Climatic Variations and Changing Land Use/Land Cover on Flooding in Southern Nigeria. Indonesian Journal of Environmental Management and Sustainability, 8(1), 16-24. https://doi.org/10.26554/ijems.2024.8.1.16-24
Copyright and license info is not available

Article Details

Most read articles by the same author(s)