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Environments 2015, 2(4), 565-585; doi:10.3390/environments2040565

Does Previous Experience of Floods Stimulate the Adoption of Coping Strategies? Evidence from Cross Sectional Surveys in Nigeria and Tanzania

1
Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Health Sciences Addition, University of Western Ontario, ON N6A 5C1, Canada
2
Environmental Health and Hazards Lab, Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, ON N6A 5C2, Canada
3
Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo, Waterloo N2L 6C2, Canada
4
Department of Geography, University of Western Ontario, ON N6A 5C2, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 12 June 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
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Abstract

In sub-Saharan Africa, hydro-meteorological related disasters, such as floods, account for the majority of the total number of natural disasters. Over the past century, floods have affected 38 million people, claimed several lives and caused substantial economic losses in the region. The goal of this paper is to examine how personality disposition, social network, and socio-demographic factors mitigate the complex relationship between stressful life experiences of floods and ocean surges and the adoption of coping strategies among coastal communities in Nigeria and Tanzania. Generalized linear models (GLM) were fitted to cross-sectional survey data on 1003 and 1253 individuals in three contiguous coastal areas in Nigeria and Tanzania, respectively. Marked differences in the type of coping strategies were observed across the two countries. In Tanzania, the zero-order relationships between adoption of coping strategies and age, employment and income disappeared at the multivariate level. Only experience of floods in the past year and social network resources were significant predictors of participants’ adoption of coping strategies, unlike in Nigeria, where a plethora of factors such as experience of ocean surges in the past one year, personality disposition, age, education, experience of flood in the past one year, ethnicity, income, housing quality and employment status were still statistically significant at the multivariate level. Our findings suggest that influence of previous experience on adoption of coping strategies is spatially ubiquitous. Consequently, context-specific policies aimed at encouraging the adoption of flood-related coping strategies in vulnerable locations should be designed based on local needs and orientation. View Full-Text
Keywords: flood; coping; environment; perception; experience; coastal; Nigeria; Tanzania flood; coping; environment; perception; experience; coastal; Nigeria; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Boamah, S.A.; Armah, F.A.; Kuuire, V.Z.; Ajibade, I.; Luginaah, I.; McBean, G. Does Previous Experience of Floods Stimulate the Adoption of Coping Strategies? Evidence from Cross Sectional Surveys in Nigeria and Tanzania. Environments 2015, 2, 565-585.

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