A Town Planning Consultant, Mr Makinde Ogunleye, has urged the three tiers of government to put in place physical development plans to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
Ogunleye, a former Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Lagos Chapter, gave the advice on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, areas for conservation, recreation, forest reservation, residential, commercial, among others, should be mapped out and maintained so that people do not just build houses anywhere.
“If all these areas will be earmarked and maintained, it will help to mitigate the impacts of climate change for now and in the future.
“Unfortunately, because urbanisation has been going at a terrible rate, that has forced people to develop all these areas thereby affecting the climate change in one way or the other,” he said.
Ogunleye said impacts of flooding were occasioned by the fact that there was no forestation and the water canals had been blocked with structures.
He said the absence of forestation and random construction of buildings were due to nonexistence of a functional regional or master plan to direct activities and development in the country.
“It is not everywhere that flood affects, it will only affect the flood prone areas.
“If there is a functional master plan in place, people will not be allowed to build in flood prone areas. Construction of buildings will be limited to areas earmarked for it,” he said.
Ogunleye called for the implementation of the existing physical development plans, while governments should encourage the town planners to prepare development plans for all other areas and states that have no plan.
“Climate change is real; the issue is how prepared are we in terms of its control, mitigations, preventive measures and solutions.
“Climate change will not impact every city in the same way.
“For example, some cities will be exposed to repeated and worsening droughts, while others may be more exposed to flooding or extreme heat events.
“Scientists, governments and stakeholders need to work together to understand the risks that are relevant for each city so that they can find effective ways to prepare for climate change,” he said.
The town planner stressed the need for preparation of master plan for the cities, regional plan for the states and layout and local plan for the local government areas for development across the country.
By Lilian Okoro