HAZARD RESPONSE CAPABILITIES OF A SMALL COMMUNITY: A CASE STUDY OF NIGERIA

Hazard Response


Abstract

Shiroro dam is one of the three major hydroelectric dams built on River Kaduna in Niger State located in the northwestern part of Nigeria. The river flood plain downstream the dam has rich alluvial soils with great agricultural potentials and this has been the major pull factor for several local communities that settled in the area and engaged in farming as a means of livelihood. However, the downstream communities are exposed to flooding and other hazards related to their livelihood activities and living pattern. A study on rural hazards identification and vulnerability assessment was conducted in Gusoro and Gurmana villages of Shiroro Local Government Area at the downstream sector of Shiroro dam in February, 2012.

The study relied on direct field survey using the instruments of oral interview, questionnaire survey and field measurements for data collection. The results form data analysis indicated, among others, that the communities were exposed to floods, erosion and health hazards as well as the risk of building collapse and environmental degradation.Hazard Response

The local coping strategies of building concentration on higher grounds, construction of elevated footpaths and embankments were found to be primitive and unsustainable. The problems of high level of illiteracy, poverty and dependent population (about50%) as well as low or complete lack of access to safe drinking water, health facilities, basic infrastructure and credit facilities (18.1%) make the people highly vulnerable. Hazard Response The level of preparedness was low as there were no disaster management committees, local disaster management institutions and local disaster plan.

All these reduced community resilience and increased the vulnerability of the people. Hazard Response The study suggested the provision of basic facilities, vigorous awareness education and the institution of integrated community based disaster risk reduction programmes as practical measures for reducing the risk of disasters in the area.Hazard Response