The role of social workers in developing adaptive capacities of flood-prone communities
Keywords:adaptive capacity, climate change, social development, social work
Vulnerability to climate change risks is worsened by low adaptive capacity, leading to fatal impacts on man and the environment. This descriptive survey research investigated the awareness of social work services for improving adaptive capacity towards flood-disaster and to determine the level of importance attached to these services by residents of two flood-prone coastal communities. Following the social development approach, a researcher-developed questionnaire titled ‘Social Work in the Face of Climate Change Questionnaire (SWFCCQ)’ was utilized to elicit responses from 24 household heads in Umuikwuanam and Umudioranam in Anambra state, South-eastern Nigeria. This study adopted purposive sampling in selecting respondents for the study. Findings of this study show that occurring every year, flooding in these communities is due to sea-level rise, leading to homelessness, an increase in the spread of diseases, mortality by drowning and psychological issues. Although residents of Umuikwuanam and Umudioranam communities have a firm grasp of required social work services and indicate the services they regard as very important, they decried the absence of social workers in their communities. Since social work services would ultimately reduce individual and community vulnerability to flooding disaster risks, the absence of social workers in these vulnerable communities requires urgent reversal to upturn the vulnerability of the community.