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Dr. Samuel Agblorti
Research Theme Lead

Development Challenges

Coastal disasters are common and are continuously providing threats to coastal communities and populations of West Africa. Communities’ participation in disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery are key components of their resilience and adaptation to climate-related coastal environment degradations in the sub-region. While governments aim at providing interventions to reduce the effects of disaster risks, local communities on their own innovate interventions to withstand the climate-related disasters. Key community interventions include embarking on environmentally-induced migrations. This research theme explores all local and community-induced innovations and government-sponsored approaches as well as regional efforts aimed at disaster risk management in the coast of West Africa. It seeks to explore and understand the interface between disaster risk management as an outcome of how communities and national governments react to unfavourable environmental conditions and migration as a social process in coastal West Africa.


The theme seeks to examine the relationship between environmental degradation and migration, specifically:

  • examining the various coping strategies employed by communities to deal with unfavourable environmental conditions while paying attention to the role of migration;
  • assessing the social and environmental context within which migration is employed as a coping strategy; and

Research Areas

This theme will employ largely social science research methodologies in achieving the set objectives. The focal research areas include:

  • Disaster risk and coping mechanisms in coastal communities
  • Disaster, environmental degradation and migration in West and Central Africa
  • Environmental determinants of migration and non-migration in West and Central Africa.

Expected Outcomes

  • Knowledge on indigenous coping mechanisms
  • Resilient communities created
  • Understanding drivers of migration and non-migration in the face of deteriorating environmental conditions.