Critical Assessment of Urban Residents’ Perception of Disaster Risk Management in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria

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International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation (IJRSI) | Volume VII, Issue II, February 2020 | ISSN 2321–2705

Critical Assessment of Urban Residents’ Perception of Disaster Risk Management in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria

Jumbo, Sharon E1, Wizor, Collins H2*
1Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria
2Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author

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Abstract: – This study scrutinized urban residents’ perception of Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State, Nigeria. The study randomly selected five (5) urban settlement zones, arbitrarily selecting eighty (80) respondents from these zones. A well-structured questionnaire was employed to elicit information on the perception of disaster risk management by residents of the LGA. The study revealed that the incidence of flooding is a common disaster attributed to climate change. Evidence from the investigation shows that the perceived human cause of the prevalent disaster is urbanization. Further evidence shows that respondents have never responded to disaster; hence the absence of Community Emergency Response and Recovery Team, thus increasing the reliance on government and other concerned agencies. The study, therefore, recommended radical awareness programs on disaster risk management and mitigation by government and non-government agencies, the inclusion of DRM concepts and practice in nations education curricula in addition to the adoption of “integrated approach” towards urban infrastructural development planning.

Keywords: Disaster, Management, Perception, Risk, Urban Residents, Vulnerability

I. INTRODUCTION

Disaster risk arises when hazards interact with the physical, social, economic, and environmental vulnerabilities and exposure of populations (UNISDR 2013b). Many of the destructive hazards are natural in origin and include earthquakes and extreme weather events resulting in floods and droughts. Disaster risk management policy is largely event-driven. Therefore, the attention of the policy community has naturally fallen on the hazards and the related physical processes that result in disasters (Aitsi-Selmi et al., 2015). Progress in disaster risk reduction (DRR) research has shown that it is often not the hazard that determines a disaster, but the vulnerability, exposure, and ability of the population to anticipate response to, and recover from its effects. A shift from pure hazard response to the identification, assessment, and ranking of vulnerabilities and risks (including their unequal distribution in populations) became critical (Department for International Development, 2006).