2018 flood may have come and gone. Though it has been written in the sands of time and in the memory books of history, the need to compare 2018 flood levels with that of 2012 for record and research purpose cannot be however thrown aside. While it lasted, many were of the opinion that the 2018 flood level surpasses that of 2012. Many were caught up in the web of opinionating without tangible measures buttressing such opinions. This paper on “Flood Battles Nigeria: A Battle for Supremacy-2012 and 2018 in Perspective” therefore, attempt to give and observatory comparative analysis of the differentials between the 2012 and 2018 flood levels. The paper found that 2012 flood level surpassed that of 2018 with a significant differential of about 1.8fts. It was therefore, suggested amongst others that government agencies forecasting the occurrences of flood should do so on time to enable quick evacuation of lives and valuables to forestall the occurrence of loss of lives and movable valuables.

Download file in pdf format:  Flood Battles

Download file in doc format:  Flood Battles


From the fall of August to the wake of September, 2018, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA warned Nigerians living by the banks of River Niger and its floodplains to immediately relocate over possible flooding, listing Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and Kogi as states that would be most affected (Vanguard Newspapers, 2018). This statement was issued as part of government’s early warning to enable persons living in affected arrears to relocate as soon as possible.

However, what was earlier seen as a yearly warning norm with no corresponding rise in the water levels became a reinventing of a Noah’s day event/occurrence where the unbelievers were swallowed a flood they did not believe. Fortunately enough, the rising of the 2018 flood and the extent it got to allowed for easy evacuation of lives and valuable properties. The flood, as forecasted, sacked communities as farmlands, houses, livestock, institutions and other valuable aspects of life were affected. As the flood surged, 2012 came to mind.

In 2012, the flood had ravaged lives and properties, something that had not been seen by the younger generation before. It shook many as it was the first time for experiencing such an occurrence. Many lost their lives as a result of poor health, food shortages amongst others. By 29 Sep, 2012, the floods had affected 134,371 people, displaced 64,473, injured 202 and killed 148  (International Federation of Red Cross, 2012). In a study by Emmanuel, Ojinnaka, Baywood and Gift (2015), in Anambra state alone, 117,148 farmers with a total monetary loss value of 14,780,500,000 were affected. 79 water and sanitary facilities with a total monetary value of 65,100,000 were submerged. In education, a total of 325 schools with 2,112,500,000 monetary value were lost. For Health, 122 facilities were affected with a total monetary loss value of 1,037,000,000. For Industries, 35 privately owned manufacturing industries with 5,000,000,000 monetary loss value were implicated. The data is as represented below.

Cited in Emmanuel, Ojinnaka, Baywood and Gift (2015)

However, with the previous level of destruction of properties in the recent 2018 flood, one begin to ponder over the differentials between the flood level of 2012 and 2018. In this paper, attempt was not made towards identifying the extent of damage, but the observatory height differentials between both flood levels.

Measuring the Heights

From the earlier warning given by the NIHSA, it was noted that both Kainji and Jebba dams were already spilling water downstream with the level of water in Lokoja downstream of the confluence standing at 8.69m. This value was adjudged to have exceeded the corresponding value of 8.57m that occurred on August 29, 2012. With this report, it was widely purported by media houses that the 2018 flood will be higher and worse-off than the 2012 flood. However, a major issue witnessed in both floods was that while the increment rate of 2012 flood was very fast, that of 2018 was more or less slow and weak. This must have given the waters enough time to flow off instead of gathering and increasing rapidly.

On The Spot Observatory Analysis

Observatory data gathered from Amassoma, Bayelsa state indicates that the flood levels of 2012 was higher than that of 2018. This got up to 1.8 significant ft. The observation was made from aftermath marks of the floods. Lines and prints left behind by the flood on the walls of houses around Amassoma community. Furthermore, interviews held with community members who had also carried out some sort of independent on-the-spot assessment all point to same figure of 1.8ft differentials. Below are the pictorial descriptions of the on-the-spot observatory analysis used for the study.

Fig. 1: Flood Level Spot Assessment 1             Fig. 2: Flood Level Spot Assessment 2
Source: Community Survey, 2018

Major Findings

This paper attempt to place the flood occurrences of 2012 and 2018 side by side in an attempt to compare their heights, considering which one was highest between both of them. The paper found that despite the water magnitude released from Kainji and Jebba dams respectively in 2018 surpassed that of 2012, the flood level of 2012 still surpassed that of 2018. The major reason cited in the paper for the cause of this opposing finding was that the rate of increment as of 2012 was higher than that of 2018. Thus, the level of increment in 2012 gave little room for the water to flow off, unlike in 2018 where the slow increase gave the water enough time to flow off, thereby affecting the height of the water.


The author concludes that the 2012 flood level was higher than that of 2018.


From the 2012 flood till 2018, the gap was 6years. Therefore, it is hereby speculated that within the next 5-7 years, there may be a possibility of another flood. Although the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA is in a better position to give the true position of things.


Based on the findings above, the following recommendations are put forward.

  1. That since flood occurrence are not what human endeavour can override, the government should fortify the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA to keep up their primary function of measuring these flood occurrences to enable people evacuate on time.
  2. To avoid loss of lives, timely warning, food and temporary shelter interventions should be adequately planned for.
  3. Citizens in affected areas should heed early warnings as lack of heeding warnings had claimed lives in previous floods as recorded in past studies.



    • Emmanuel, U. A., Ojinnaka O. C., Baywood C. N. & Gift U. A. (2015). Flood hazard analysis and damage assessment of 2012 flood in Anambra State using GIS and remote sensing approach. American Journal of Geographic Information System, 4(1), 38-51.
    • International Federation of Red Cross, (IFRC), (2012). Nigeria: Floods; Preliminary Emergency Appeal n° MDRNG014. Retrieved November 2018 from https://reliefweb.int/map/nigeria/nigeria-floods-preliminary-emergency -appeal-n%C2%B0-mdrng014
    • Vanguard Newspapers, (2018). Flood alert for Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa, others. Retrieved November 2018 from Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr .com/2018/08/flood-alert-for-anambra-delta-bayelsa-others/



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