Tag Archives: flooding

All in a day’s work

12 May

We’ve snapped a few pictures of the projects in progress today in Ogwuyo, the first neighborhood in Anam City.  Over 100 men and women were employed on site in a big push before rainy season transforms the landscape. Rainy season has already come full force across Nigeria; Lagos in particular is reporting heavy rainfalls and increase flooding risks this month. The Nigerian government predicts an especially heavy rainy-season this year according to this article in the Vanguard.  In contrast, Africa Science News reports that East Africa expects an unusually low rainfall year . Research suggests that these inconsistencies may be tied to global climate change.

Anam City will continue to research and prototype of flood resilient design and ecological and green infrastructure approaches that may mitigate impacts of flooding and increased water levels in the area of the Niger River Delta.

Anam Under Water [VIDEO]

9 Nov

Annual flooding has become a part of life in Anam. People travel throughout the region from farm to market on the rivers by canoe to conduct trade. They respond to the natural hydrological systems for their survival and have innovated many solutions for managing their resources during the floods. On farm settlements, farmers build flexible farm storage and construct mounds near their housing for protection.

The wetland condition resulting from the floods are a critical contributor to regional biodiversity and ecological strength.The seasonal floodwaters serve as a natural irrigation and deposits nutrient-rich sediments on to farmlands.  However, increasing population and urbanization creates pressure on the hydrologic system in this riverine area. Conventional development causes wetland areas to be reduced, which damages water supply and quality. A depleted flood plain also increases risk of flooding in other areas of the region as water rushes in during the rainy season, contributing to aggressive erosion.  International research on climate change issues also demonstrate that vulnerable areas such as Anam will be at even greater risk as water levels rise.

The design of ANAM CITY takes an ecological approach to urban development that manages nature and civilization, such that neither is compromised.  The city will preserve and enhance 85% of the existing wetlands, while urban infrastructure will follow low-impact guidelines so that stormwater can actually complement the city’s design.  The result is an emerging wetland and riverfront edge that will mitigate any human impacts and allow for the long term stability of both the community and ecological systems.  The Anam culture of canoe transport is also integral to the urban design framework for the city, which will address the Ezichi River for its primary access points.

Building on Water: Intensive Site Trip Advances Urban Design

20 Oct

The design team travelled to the project site this month for an extended work trip aimed at guiding the urban design development phase.   The extensive land surveying shed great light on the existing site conditions.  With the help of GPS units, canoes, local farmers and other volunteers from the Umuoba Anam community, the team was able to traverse the full extent of the first phase site (Ebenebe), identifying inland waterways and gaining a better understanding of traditional socio-economic and settlement patterns.

The Ebenebe river edge

Of particular importance was understanding and recording the extent of the peak seasonal flooding on the site.  Because the Anam communities are in the Niger/Anambra river basin, most of their land is heavily impacted by the seasonal tropical rain.  So why build a new city in a flood zone?  How can such a significant greenfield development be feasible, let alone ecologically responsible?   It is the most important urban design challenge; balancing environmental protection with an urgent need to improve human quality of life.  The fact is the land is all the Anam people have, the hand they’ve been dealt.  It is both a source of life and struggle.  The flood cycle effectively cuts off communities from public services, economic activities and each other.  At the same time, it is a necessary ecological process that enriches the land and enables the Anam farmers to produce over 70% of the regional food demand.   As their present living conditions worsen, the Anam people have a right to self-actualization and preservation.  Proposed urban design strategies for the new Anam City will balance the regional hydrological cycle with domestic water solutions for a sustainable settlement.  Furthermore, the rurban/agropolitan model cultivates prosperity where it’s needed the most, the rural periphery, and mitigates the destructive forces of mass urban migration.

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