The Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN) has proffered workable solutions to prevent flooding ravaging the country and called for the Federal Government collaboration.
SLAN said this in a statement signed by its President, Mr Amos Alao, on Friday in Lagos.
Alao, in the statement, said flooding could be preventable if basic architecture techniques were adopted in landscape planning and building engineering.
Alao was quoted by the statement as saying that the major aim of SLAN is to change the narrative of the adverse effect of climate change and flooding on the landscape.
“We are of the opinion that we can change the narrative using landscape techniques and nature based solutions to solve environmental challenges and mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change on our environment.
“The Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria wants to make our voice heard on this issue of flooding in some parts of the country and to offer her services to mitigating the impact of this natural disaster.
“Over the years, SLAN has been overlooked because the public does not realise we have solutions to environmental challenges and are purpose built for the impacts of climate change by virtue of our professional training as landscape architects.
“We have several policies, we can discuss with government and relevant stakeholders to solve periodic problems of climate change with sustainable solutions.
“As custodians of the earth, we are set to collaborate with the Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders in the climate change community to proffer solutions to curb the increasing menace of flooding in the Country which has negatively impacted on the nation’s socio-economic growth,” Alao said.
He also said that changing landscape from ‘grey’ (concrete-based) to ‘green’ would ameliorate most climate change and flooding situation across the country.
“While we are aware that we cannot halt the rains, we can ensure our cities handle water management efficiently and have better flood preparedness policies using nature based solutions and green infrastructure.
“Flooding is no longer a farmer’s problem in the corridors of the city and rural areas, it is now a scourge in urban areas and city cores.
“Although there are unconfirmed reports in some quarters that this year’s flood has been attributed mainly to the Lagdo Dam in Northern Cameroun, releasing water to its environs.
“Climate change has also played a significant role in worsening the impact of the flood,” Alao added.
According to him, rising global temperatures have increased evaporation in the atmosphere leading to high precipitation conditions in the affected areas.
“It is time we changed the city landscape model from colour ‘’grey’’ to ‘’green’’.
“SLAN hopes with the help of public-private partnerships, we can begin to implement the ‘Sponge City’ approach in states like Kogi, Niger, Benue and Delta which have been the most affected,” Alao said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SLAN which began in 2003 is affiliated to the International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA), which is the world body of landscape architects.
IFLA currently represents 77 national associations from Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
SLAN is one of five registered Landscape Architecture Associations on the African continent. (NAN)