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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.


  • explore the extent of environmental deterioration along the coastal belt of the West African sub-region;
  • examine the various coping strategies employed by communities to deal with unfavourable environmental conditions while paying attention to the role of migration;
  • assess the social and environmental context within which migration is employed as a coping strategy;
  • examine national governments’ efforts at disaster risk management in the sub-region and
  • explore reasons why some migrate but others do not within a similar environmental and socio-economic context.

Research Areas

  • Disaster risk and coping mechanisms in coastal West Africa
  • Disaster, environmental degradation and migration in West and Central Africa
  • Indigenous disaster risk management in West Africa
  • Environmental determinants of migration and non-migration in West and Central Africa.
  • Economic, social and political causes of coastal disasters in West Africa

This theme will employ largely social science research methodologies in achieving the set objectives.

Expected Outcomes

  • Knowledge on indigenous coping mechanisms
  • Resilient communities created
  • Understanding of factors of migration and non-migration the face of disasters.