Urban and rural dimensions in post-disaster adjustment challenges in selected communities in Kwara State, Nigeria
Adebimpe, Raheem Usman
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Human populations are exposed to climate change directly through changing weather patterns as manifested in the more frequent extreme events and indirectly through changes in ecosystem functions. Rainstorm disasters are common events associated with environmental change and settlements in Kwara state, Nigeria were ravaged by rainstorm events between 2003 and 2006. More than 1000 households were displaced from their habitual homes with consequences for human health and other adjustment challenges. This paper examines the variations in the post-disaster adjustment challenges of rural and urban households so as to identify location specific intervention strategies in the domains of environment and health of the victims. A sample of 200 households was drawn from all households affected by rainstorm disaster as reflected in the FEMA records during the period. A structured questionnaire was administered in addition to the secondary data and analyzed using relevant statistical techniques. The findings include that most households required support before replacing the roofs and/or walls of their homes. Sources of support however vary. Urban households received more institutional support but lower than the amount required for the renovation. A significant proportion of urban households moved to poorer homes where they faced challenges relating to the quality of environmental services. Many urban respondents also reported increases in the occurrence of water-borne and weather-related diseases and ailments. Rural households indicated no significant ecological differences between their former homes and the areas to which they relocated. The paper concludes that significant variations exist in the adjustment challenges faced by rural and urban dwellers after a disaster. Community efforts hold promise for emergency response particularly during disasters in rural areas.