Original Research

Drivers for coping with flood hazards: Beyond the analysis of single cases

Roland A. Balgah, Henry N. Bang, Salliana A. Fondo
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a678 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.678 | © 2019 Roland A. Balgah, Henry N. Bang, Salliana A. Fondo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 May 2018 | Published: 09 April 2019

About the author(s)

Roland A. Balgah, College of Technology, The University of Bamenda, Bamenda, Cameroon
Henry N. Bang, Disaster Management Centre, Bournemouth University, Dorset, United Kingdom
Salliana A. Fondo, School of Life Sciences, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany


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Abstract

Flood risks continue to pose serious threats to developing countries with dire ramifications for livelihoods. Yet, contemporary research on determinants for coping with flood hazards is driven mostly by individual cases with less effort to systematically identify coping strategies across multiple floods. This research analyses potential determinants of coping strategies to flooding across multiple floods using two case studies in Cameroon. Via empirical research and qualitative or descriptive statistical analysis, the research investigated how human, social, and economic or financial variables influence household coping decisions across the two flood sites. Results suggest a great influence of social and human capital on household decisions to adopt specific coping strategies and that over 80% of flood victims in both study sites applied post-flood informal coping strategies. Analysis also shows significant inconsistencies with human capital variables, which reveal that coping determinants can be quite different even for floods occurring in the same agroecological zone. The findings also reveal that economic and financial capital has little influence on flood victims’ coping decisions, contrary to popular contentions in the literature. The results of this study have implications for research and policy implementation on flood-induced coping strategies in developing countries.

Keywords

disaster risk management; natural hazards; multiple cases; coping strategies; floods; local development

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