Ibadan experiencing stronger wind gusts in last decades —Expert

An expert in climatology, Dr Ibidun Adelekan has said more buildings in Ibadan stand an increased risk of collapsing, saying that Ibadan has been experiencing stronger wind gusts in the last decades.

Dr Adelekan, who spoke at the inaugural meeting of the Urban Africa Risk Knowledge project working group in Ibadan, stated that evidence has shown increasing wind gusts far back in 2008.

According to her, studies carried out between 1989 to 2008 found that there was a significant increase in maximum wind gusts, with the latter half of the period, 1998 and2008, recording higher mean maximum wind gusts and more frequent windstorms.

Adelekan, who remarked that this changing climate patterns had made inner-city residents of Ibadan more vulnerable to hazards, linked the change in wind pattern to changing patterns of urbanisation, land use, land cover and wind climate in the city.

“The increasing wind gust in itself is a factor for increasing cases of dilapidated building given way; old trees been uprooted, roof tops getting blown off and building damaged. Certainly, more of these things should be expected,” she said.

Adelakan, however, declared that preliminary findings of the Urban Africa Risk Knowledge project have shown that the vulnerability of different areas of Ibadan city to hazards or risks differs.

She declared, “evidence of the scale of urban disasters in Africa indicates that small everyday events are the main cause of premature deaths and serious injury.

“Also, the direct and indirect imparts of climate change are likely to intensify a range of existing risk relating to environmental health and disaster hazards as well as creating new risks in urban Africa.”

She, however, stated that the Urban Africa Risk Knowledge project would also be providing city wide risk information, adding that it was to support targeting policies at preventing and reducing the impart of natural and environmental/physical hazards and health risks in the city.

Alhaji Jelili Busari, the permanent Secretary, Oyo State Teaching service commission and a member of the Urban Africa Risk Knowledge project working group stated that the unplanned growth of Ibadan City had created many environmental challenges, including refuse.

Busari, who declared that Oyo State was already preparing a master plan for the city, stated the need for individual households to start managing the problem of refuse.

“The capacity of government at the state and local government levels is overwhelmed by the enormity of the refuse generated at the domestic, medical or industrial levels. So we expect their support,” he said.

He also cautioned people against dumping refuse into the water ways, saying “we have seen the devastating effects of flood, fire incidents, road accidents and so on.”