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Accepted Paper:

From COVID-19 Pandemic to Flooding: governmental responses to flood victims in Bayesla State, Nigeria.  
Victor Sokari (Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Nigeria) Oluwabusolami Ojo (University of Bayreuth)

Paper short abstract:

The study examines how government addresses the 2020 flooding in Bayelsa State taking COVID-19 into consideration.

Paper long abstract:

Flooding is the foremost natural disaster in Nigeria. Bayesla State, Nigeria, is one that has recurrently suffered from flood crises. Studies identified rising sea levels in addition to low elevation as some of the factors causing flooding in the State. While the State is familiar with its perpetual foe – flooding, March 2020 ushered in the outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria. While residents of Bayelsa sought to combat COVID-19, the State was hit by powerful floods in April and September 2020.

Reflecting on the foregoing, the study provides answers to the questions of how did the government address the 2020 flooding in Bayelsa State taking COVID-19 into consideration? And what are the socio-economic effect of COVID-19 on the 2020 flood victims in Bayelsa?

Using a qualitative research design, the study sourced data primarily from 24 purposively selected respondents using semi- structured interviews. Respondents includes flood victims and officials in the eight local government areas in Bayelsa State. It extended to officials from the National Emergency Management Agency, Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, and the Bayelsa Medical University.

Findings of the studies suggest that most flood victims during the COVID-19 pandemic fled their homes and relied on social capital to survive as the Bayelsa State lacked internally displaced camps. Government didn’t take into cognizance the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic as assistance i.e relief materials was unnecessarily delayed. The study recommends that government should tackle flood crises at a more fundamental level.

Panel P51b
The impact of Covid-19 on the displacement crisis resulting from natural disasters II
  Session 1 Friday 2 July, 2021, -