Deforestation as a cause of flooding and desertification

THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN RESPONDING TO AN EXTREME

HEALTH CARE EVENT AND EXTREME WEATHER.

Extreme weather has become one of the biggest threats the world is facing which are harmful to living things including plants, animals, and humans. Before I continue let define my key terms, which are extreme, responding, extreme health care event and extreme weather.

  • Extreme: - is a condition when something or someone is in its utmost or highest degree, or a very high degree. It can also be when it is beyond the ordinary or average.

Responding: - is to do something as a reaction to someone or something. But there is a difference between reaction and responding (response) and that difference is that; reaction is typically quick, without much thought, tense and aggressive while a response is thought out, calm and non-threatening

Extreme health care event are the diseases that occur due to the extreme weather effects. Examples are:

  • Heatwaves - which causes heatstroke, worsen asthma and etc.
  • Flooding - causes cholera
  • Wildfires - causes eye and respiratory tract irritation and to more serious disorders like reduced lung function, bronchitis and exacerbation of asthma and respiratory diseases and etc.

Extreme, or severe weather are used interchangeably to describe weather that causes harm to people and/or property. Extreme weather or extreme climate events includes unexpected, unusual, severe, or unseasonal weather; weather at the extremes of the historical distribution. Often, extreme events are based on a location's recorded weather history and defined as lying in the most unusual ten percent. Examples of extreme weathers include:

  • Wild Fires;
  • Tornado;
  • Flooding;
  • Droughts;
  • Desertification
  • Tropical Storms; and
  • Hurricane.

In my country, Nigeria, we suffer heatwaves, flooding, and desertification which has an impact on those people living there. During the hot season that is from March – June in Nigeria, heat waves do occur and the northern region is the ones mostly affected. This and desertification affect the northern part of the country, while flooding affects mostly the southern region. When these events happen, there are loss of jobs and properties, loss of lives, loss of valuable resources and causes of some diseases. Examples of these events are the 2012 flooding in Nigeria that affected 30 out of 36 states killing 363 people and 1.2million displaced. The 2002 heat waves that hit Maiduguri in the northeast killed about 60 people etc.

  • Communities can do a lot of things if they work together with one another and with their community head to prevent or reduce the impact before it happens. Things that can be done include: clearing the gutters and making of new gutters which should be channeled properly to good water bodies, build houses with materials that make home cool, reduce cutting down and/or planting of trees, Build better flood defense and etc. With that, they will reduce their effects. Some of these precautions are already taking place in Nigeria and proving effect to some level.
  • The government have responsibilities to preventing and responding to extreme weather like provide emergency health care to the injured, ask for international aid (help), send food to the affected area, give money to people who can’t work, lower your carbon emissions, Evacuate people from the affected area, etc.

  • I would like this extreme weather event to be reduced because we have the ability to do so and other countries should cooperate to put an end to the factors causing this so that the next and future generations won’t suffer for our actions.

Comments (14)

  • tom Tom @ the BNC
    20 Apr 2020

    Thank you for sharing your experiences of extreme weather, persistent_lobster. It helps us all understand the impact in countries such as yours. Could you make sure everything is always in your own words? If you are going to quote a definition from the internet, please show you're doing it with "speech marks" and with a link to the page,and try to keep it the quotes short.

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    1. global-conversation.png persistent_lobster | Rhemaville Christian Academy | Nigeria
      Tom @ the BNC's comment 20 Apr 2020

      Thank you Tom for the advice. I will adhere it henceforth.

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  • global-conversation.png openminded_seed | Mwangaza Secondary School | Kenya
    22 Apr 2020

    Yah deforestation is the cause of flooding and desertification. When we can down trees we also inhibit hydrological cycle that plays a very good role in conserving water and as a result we experience less rain downpour and as time goes no more rainfall leading to desertification. Flooding is cause by heavy downpour in an area where there is no trees to help water leaching downwards.

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      1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC
        delightful_snow's comment 22 Apr 2020

        Can you explain why you agree?

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  • global-conversation.png excellent_photograph | Rhemaville Christian Academy | Nigeria
    22 Apr 2020

    Well I would say that in respect to the issue of deforestation as a cause of flooding and desertification, there is a lot more that what appears on the surface.
    In Nigeria where I come from, the speed at which the Sahara desert has been encroaching into the country in recent years has been increasingly alarming. Based on recent research, the encroachment of the Sahara desert into Nigeria has reduced the agricultural output of Nigeria by a factor of 10 in the last four years. the disturbing thing is that only a handful of Nigerians are worried about this even though a considerable part of the Nigerian economy is made up of the resources derived from agricultural produce such as cotton, cocoa, groundnuts, and maize. Due to this desert encroachment the temperatures of areas in the north of Nigeria are constantly rising and the intense heat waves frequently cause heat stroke and in many cases, death. Unfortunately the responses to this issue are so unserious that they seem non-existent. With no significant responses to the issue of desertification, my worst fears are gradually turning into a reality as the issue is compounding by the day. In the southern part of the country, flash floods have become a regular occurrence usually ravaging through little settlements and villages, destroying properties and taking innocent lives. The reason for these sudden flash floods has been attributed to the absence of trees to reduce the speed and change the direction of water flow. The question that remains is "where did all the trees go?". Indiscriminate cutting down of trees without making any efforts to replant them is the leading cause of the rapid decrease in the number of trees. What many people don't understand is that without trees a lot of bad things are bound to happen. One of the effects of the loss of trees is the depletion of t he ozone layer. The leading cause of global warming and climate change around the world is the depletion of the ozone layer. If deforestation alone could be related to so many extreme weather events, its a clear proof that all of these extreme weather events are linked together. Being linked together implies that to completely overcome the issue of extreme weather events, each of these extreme weather events has to be tackled simultaneously and in similar manner.
    excellent_photograph.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      excellent_photograph's comment 23 Apr 2020

      This is a very powerful account, thank you for sharing in such detail and for explaining your concerns. You say that only a handful of Nigerians seem to be concerned. What do you think are the reasons for this? How can the response be increased, and awareness spread about the severity of the problem - what would change people's minds?

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      1. global-conversation.png persistent_lobster | Rhemaville Christian Academy | Nigeria
        Olivia @ the BNC's comment 27 Apr 2020

        Nigeria is a large country with a lot of cultural diversities and so that means that there would be different believes and mindset from the different people in the different cultural settings. In addition, there is also a high level of illiteracy in Nigeria. So, these factors helps in increasing the rate of deforestation and other environmental problems. Not only these two factors, even negligence from other educated people also contributes. There are some similarities between religion and tradition and so with that similarities the religious leaders and traditional rulers have the chance to educate their followers and communities on the effects of their behaviors and also on the benefits of making the environment conducive for us to stay in. The government should also try to see a way in educating the illiterates in the country on the dangers of deforestation and other environmental problems. The government should also make laws to punish offenders or those who break this laws. If this is done in Nigeria, there would be a great improvement and reduction of Nigerian environmental disorder and problems.

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    2. global-conversation.png persistent_lobster | Rhemaville Christian Academy | Nigeria
      excellent_photograph's comment 23 Apr 2020

      Thank you for futher breaking down the disasters in Nigeria and their impact with affects some states like borno with their negligance

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  • global-conversation.png ethical_conversation | Irene Secondary School | Kenya
    24 Apr 2020

    I would not necessarily say that Deforestation is the cause of flooding and Desertification , you may ask why ?let me not put it in a complex way
    Firstly when there is no trees,forests the land is bare due to Deforestation
    But have you ever asked yourself if there is no trees alot of things can happen ,l know you Will agree with me when l tell you that trees are water catchment areas,they attract rain but the moment there is no those trees it would be dry thus effects on no trees is the depletion of ozone layer which causes global warming and the events of climate change occurs
    Iam happy that my country don't neglect things they work on it and respond to every alarming emergency
    People should know the importance of trees in the environment and the reason people plant them ,this will make people know about the effects of it
    Also people will change their minds and respond faster
    Ethical_conversation
    But

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  • global-conversation.png sensible_jackfruit | Achimota Basic School | Ghana
    11 May 2020

    I don't think that deforestation is a cause of flooding. Cutting down trees can lead to erosion, hot weather and destruction of buildings during windy rainfalls. I have not heard any story of flooding that was caused by deforestation.

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    1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC
      sensible_jackfruit's comment 12 May 2020

      When I researched this I found some evidence that deforestation can cause flooding. For example:
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/11/29/how-can-deforestation-cause-flash-floods/#21792d396d61

      Can you find any other evidence?

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  • global-conversation.png invigorated_chicken | Archdeacon Crowther Memorial Girl's School, Elelenwo | Nigeria
    18 May 2020

    Deforestation plays several roles in the flooding equation because trees prevent sediment runoff and forests hold and use more water than farms or grasslands. ... Tree roots absorb water from the soil, making the soil drier and able to store more rainwater.

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