Comparative analysis of the effects of annual flooding on the maternal health of women floodplain and non floodplain dwellers in Makurdi urban area, Benue state, Nigeria
This research seeks to analyze and compare the effects of seasonal flooding on the health of women who dwell in the floodplains against their counterparts in the non-floodplains of Makurdi urban area. Number of live births and frequency and number of times women were treated for diseases within the six months of the rainy season were used as indices of health. Structured questionnaire was administered on 220 women randomly selected (22 each from the 5 floodplains and non-floodplain neighborhoods), with the respondents from the non-floodplain dwellers as the control. Descriptive statistics were used for analysis. Results indicate that 36% of flood plain dwellers were sick enough to visit a hospital at least once, as against 23% of the non-floodplain dwellers during the six months of the rainy season. In the floodplains, 82% have children while in the non-floodplains 91% have, and 27% of pregnancies in the floodplains are not carried to full term as against 23% in the non-floodplains. This research contributes to understanding and managing the differing levels of risk to flooding and for policy and advocacy on women‘s rights to better health and sanitary environment in the flood plains.
Keywords: Flooding, Urban areas, Women, Flood risk mitigation.