Valuing the cost of environmental degradation in the face of changing climate: Emphasis on flood and erosion in Benin City, Nigeria
There are numerous environmental problems that plague different parts of the world in the face of climate change. These range from pollution, deforestation, indiscriminate bush burning and natural wild fire, desertification, climate change, rain and windstorms, flood, earthquake, volcanicity, drought and erosion among others. Of these environmental problems, Nigeria is affected by all except natural wildfire, volcanicity and earthquake. In Benin City, flood and erosion are two major environmental problems seriously affecting the city in recent times causing damage to property and loss of lives. The seriousness of these problems necessitated this study, which investigated the cost of environmental degradation in Benin City. Climatic trend (air temperature and rainfall) in Benin City between 1940 and 2010 were analysed while the flood and erosion characteristics in Benin City were also measured between 2008 and 2010. 741 questionnaires were administered to analyse the impacts of flooding and erosion on the respondents. The service of experts in estate valuing was sort and with that, the cost of damage caused by flood and erosion was determined. The data were analysed using time series and percentages among others. The results show that the length of the gullies ranges between 168 m and 695 m while the depth was between 0.6m and 24 m. The cost of damage to buildings and property due to erosion and flooding was N3.9billion ($23.9million) while flood claimed 14 lives between 1999 and 2010.
Key words: Climate change, eateries, rainfall, damage, property, commercial activities, gullies, urban forestry.