Nigeria is richly endowed with abundant natural resources. It has a large landmass of approximately 924.00km2, rich fertile soils, and the highest agricultural land ration in Africa. The country is also blessed with an extensive coastline of about 850km length, which supports, abundant aquatic diversity and marine habitats. However, despite nature's profligate endowment and benevolence, indications of condition and trends of the natural environment, especially the status of the land and coastal resources base, reflect extensive and progressive deterioration, particularly within the last three decades.
The occurrence and increasing magnitudes of inland and coastal erosion, and flood hazards are common features in every part of the country. The increasing magnitudes of these problems might be linked to increased human population and the upset of the delicate ecological balance of nature though processes as deforestation, bush burning, overgrazing, and inappropriate land use practices; plus the general nature of Nigerian soils and other factors known to cause and socio-economic consequences of soil erosion, flood and coastal degradation are enormous.
Productive land and infrastructure are lost or destroyed in these processes, affecting social harmony worsening existing impoverishment aggravating rural poverty.
On a regional scale, gully erosion is most prevalent in the south eastern and the north eastern highlands parts of the country (South East, South, Eastern flange of North Central and the highland states of North East geopolitical zones).
Flood hazards are most prevalent in the major river flood plains and urban areas with inadequate drainage.
Coastal erosion and degradation affects the entire coastline, with greater occurrence around major coastal cities. The Lagos Bar Beach is the most dynamic as regards coastal degradation in the country.
Sheet erosion affects every part of the country, while gulling and flood menace also occur all over the country. The Department of EFCZ was thus created to provide policy guidelines and implementation strategies to curtail the menace of erosion, flood and coastal degradation.
Coordination and formulation of policies, programmes and projects to reduce and control land degradation especially Soil erosion, flood forecasting, prevention and control prevention and control of coastal degradation along the nation's coastline; water harvesting and management and general environmental improvement for sustainable development.
It is positioned to initiate and execute measures that curtails or minimizes the effects of factors that accelerate or aggravate the processes of Soil erosion, flood and coastal degradation; executes project that ameliorate the impacts of erosion, flood and coastal degradation; initiates and promote the capture and efficient utilization of rain water; creates awareness on practices that minimizes erosion, flood and coastal degradation; collates and disseminate data in its areas of mandate.
- Development of integrated biotechnological measures for the management (prevention and control) of inland and coastal erosion, land degradation, and flood hazards;
- Update and dissemination of information on the status of erosion, flood and coastal degradation menace nationwide, through continuous monitoring and assessment of these ecological problems;
- National Policy formulation for inland and coastal erosion management, water harvesting and management;
- Flood forecasting, prediction and early warning and flood hazard/vulnerability analysis;
- Water harvesting and management including the development of strategies for potential recharge of subsurface aquifers using flood water;
- Catchments area protection, Soil and water conservation;
- Institutional and human resources capacities improvements for the management, water harvesting and management
The Department of Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management is structured into four Divisions, namely:
Coastal Zone Management
Flood Forecasting, Monitoring and Control
Erosion Control and Monitoring
Water Management and Harvesting
Each Division is headed by a Deputy Director, GL. 16. The Divisions are further sub-divided into Branches, Sections and Units.
Coastal Zone Management Division
The Coastal Zone Management Division with the sole statutory responsibility of controlling flood and erosion along the 853km of the National Coastline.
Flood Forecasting, Monitoring and Control, Division
The Erosion Monitoring and Control Division
This division has the statutory responsibility of controlling and monitoring inland Erosion throughout the country. It also has the additional responsibility of reclaiming all mine sites and other soil degradation areas.
Water Harvesting Division
The mandate of this division among other things includes Inter-Basin water transfer, micro catchment water harvesting for flash flood prevention etc.