A RURAL COMMUNITY’S ADAPTION TO AN EXTREME FLOOD EVENT IN NORTHERN RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA

NWAOGU Ngozi R1 and EZEKWE I. Clinton2 1Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria 2Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria Email: Clinton.ezekwe.uniport.edu.ng: [email protected]

Abstract: The study applied the RRA technique in studying the adaptation of the Ndoni people of Rivers State to flooding in Nigeria. The study examined the impact of the 2012 flood disaster in the area. The research is based on survey method, and data collected was through HouseTo-House Interviewing, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and Key Persons Interview (KPI). Simple random sampling technique was used to select ten (10) out of fifteen (15) disaster affected villages in the district and thirty five (35) households selected from each of the villages. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive statistics, presented in figures and percentages. The findings reveal that personal preparedness for the 2012 flooding which occurred in October was low, as majority (90.32 percent) of the respondents had no early warning signs before the flood struck and therefore could only make few adjustments to withstand its impacts. As a result, personal properties such as individual homes/houses, fish and crop farms, other businesses and houses contents as well as government infrastructure including health facilities, roads, and schools were adversely affected. Therefore, the people chose to relocate to safe areas, raising household items above the flood level as immediate response measure. After the flooding, the people considered building resilience as only alternative to live with the flooding in the area since its vulnerability remains high due to its proximity to the River Niger. The adaptive strategies to enhance their resilience include following warning advice on radios and television; dredging of rivers, modification of building design by raising the foundations above flood levels and the community cohesion among other traditional methods. Key word: Flood Disaster, Resilience and Adaptation Introduction According to the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (2013), understanding how floods impact communities provides insights on policies aimed at reducing the impact of future flood events.

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