A Post-Disaster Assessment of Riverine Communities Impacted by a Severe Flooding Event
This study adopts a post-disaster analysis of the 2012 flood event in the riverine communities of Lokoja, Nigeria. It focuses on the perceived causes and impacts of the disaster and coping mechanisms adopted by the affected populations. The study was based on a survey of 193 randomly selected households in five neighbourhoods: Felele, Adankolo, Lokongoma Estate, Sarkin Noma, and Ganaja in Lokoja Metropolis, Nigeria. This was complemented by a focus group discussion that involved one representative each of the sampled neighbourhoods. It was observed that 61.3% of the household heads rated the last flood event as extremely severe while another 20.0% rated it as severe. Losses arising from the flood disaster were pervasive as 11.7% of the households reported loss of lives, 53.3% loss of farmlands, 64.0% damage to roads and 68.0% loss of valuable properties. There were significant inter-neighbourhood variations in quantified losses incurred by households in terms of farm produce (F4,31=3.027; p=0.032), lives (F4,27=5.737; p=0.002), properties (F4,48=2.581; p=0.049), income (F4,55=3.405; p=0.019) and number of displaced people (F4,35=3.043; p=0.025). Variations in losses of farm produce, lives, properties and income were significantly different in Sarkin Noma (a poor neighbourhood) from other neighbourhoods, while Lokongoma (a planned, middle income neighbourhood) accounted for a significant difference in the number of displaced persons. Households generally relied on individual and community based coping mechanisms to manage the effect of the disaster as victims lacked institutional support and government interventions were limited in depth and scope. The government should develop policies that mitigate the vulnerability of people living in flood-prone areas.