Natural Hazards

, Volume 80, Issue 1, pp 445–469 | Cite as

Flood risk perception in flood-affected communities in Lagos, Nigeria

  • Ibidun O. AdelekanEmail author
  • Adeniyi P. Asiyanbi
Original Paper


The widespread increase in flood hazards and the ensuing impacts have guided a change in approach to flood risk management especially in developed countries. This is based on the realisation that the integration of non-structural approaches to flood mitigation, for which the understanding of the social dimensions of flood risk is an important aspect, is needful. Flooding as a consequence of changing rainfall patterns and increased frequency of storm surges in the context of urban development has become a major risk in the coastal megacity of Lagos. The focus of flood management in the city has however largely been on structural measures with little attention directed to addressing the social processes which shape the vulnerability or resilience of flood-affected population. Risk perception is an aspect of the social construction of risk, the understanding of which is important in managing risks. The paper employs a combination of theoretical and non-theoretical methods including residents’ self-perceived vulnerability and concerns about flood risk, and the psychometric paradigm approach to examine perception of flood risk by residents in flood-affected communities in the city. Data were collected through the administration of a purposely designed questionnaire to 1000 residents in flood-affected communities in the period following two major flood events in the city which occurred in 2011 and 2012. The relationship between flood risk perception and socio-demographic characteristics of residents was also examined. The implications of findings of the study for flood risk management in the city are discussed.


Risk perception Floods Residents Flood risk management Psychometric paradigm Lagos 



This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The comments and suggestions of two anonymous reviewers and Professor Johnson O. Ayoade which enhanced the quality of the paper are gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11069_2015_1977_MOESM1_ESM.doc (154 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 153 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

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