Original Research

Flood risk perception, disaster preparedness and response in flood-prone urban communities of Rivers State

Zelda A. Elum, Olanrewaju Lawal
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 14, No 1 | a1303 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v14i1.1303 | © 2022 Zelda A. Elum, Olanrewaju Lawal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2022 | Published: 29 September 2022

About the author(s)

Zelda A. Elum, Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Olanrewaju Lawal, Department of Geography and Environmental Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Rapid urbanisation is contributing to increasing societal vulnerability to disaster. This study aimed at exploring the perception on flood risk and ascertaining the determinants of disaster preparedness among residents in flood-prone urban communities. Descriptive statistics and discriminant regression model were employed on primary data collected from 240 urban households across five communities at risk of flooding in the study area. The results showed that most households had low awareness of flood risk and exhibit low levels of adaptive capacity, having adopted little or no measures to deal with disaster floods. Also, awareness of flood risk was observed to discriminate the most between the two groups of adopters and nonadopters of flood preventive and management measures (proxy for disaster preparedness), followed by flood risk perception, age, location and household size.

Contribution: The study suggests an integrated approach (a combination of preventive, protective and control measures) by all stakeholders, including government and other relevant bodies, increasing public awareness of flood risk and its attending effects for greater responsiveness, supporting communities in regular clearing of drainage areas and strictly regulating the construction of buildings, particularly in flood prone areas.


urbanisation; climate change; floods; sustainability; risk perception; vulnerability


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