Resettlement and Readjustment Patterns of Rural Dwellers during and After Flood Disasters in Bayelsa State Nigeria (Published)
Globally, riverine areas are naturally prone to flooding. In 2012 and 2018 for example, flooding became a national disaster in Nigeria. While Bayelsa State was recorded as one of the worst affected, the case of Southern Ijaw LGA was most lamentable. Out of the eight (8) Local government areas in Bayelsa state, seven (7) were adversely affected. Records revealed that public and private properties, infrastructure and facilities worth billions of naira were fully or partly submerged and destroyed. As part of its intervention efforts, the government provided internally displaced person’s camps and supplied relief materials. Other non-governmental organizations and philanthropists also supported with relief materials. Till date, the living conditions of some of the victims remain deplorable. This study examined the rural dwellers’ resettlement and re-adjustment patterns of victims of flood disasters in riverine communities of Southern Ijaw LGA.The study investigates the resettlement and readjustment patterns of flood victims in Bayelsa state. Exploratory and Descriptive survey designs were used in this study. A combination of cluster and simple random sampling techniques were adopted. Also, the instruments of questionnaire, interview schedules and focus group discussion were used. Taro Yamane (1967) formula was used to derive a sample size of 400. Chi-square (x2) test statistic was used to test the hypothesis. The study indicated that flood victims are more in shock and confusion during and immediately after flood disasters as well as worsened situation in terms of resettlement and re-adjustment patterns. Their conditions in terms of resettlement and re-adjustment pattern showed in their emotions. Larger proportions of respondents agreed that flooding occasions the dislocation and relocation of people and communities. From the study, resettlement and re-adjustment patterns of flood victims revealed that almost all flood victims are at state of shock and confusion during flood disasters. They are left with no other option than to evacuate their residences to temporary ‘open-room’ apartments provided by the government. The study concludes that the work of disaster managers before, during and after disasters is known to be very fragmented. Engineers do not usually work and cooperate with health professional and planners. Efforts should be made by the government to prevent the escalation of the destructive capacity of flooding in flood prone zones across the state by providing good drainage systems in various communities as well as making efforts to relocate people residing in the rural riverine areas that are most prone and vulnerable to future flood occurrence to upland areas.
Keywords: Location, dislocation, flood disaster, re-adjustment, resettlement