The role of social perception in disaster risk reduction: Beliefs, perception, and attitudes regarding flood disasters in communities along the Volta River, Ghana
People’s perceptions of natural, spiritual, and social phenomena are socially constructed. Social perception is important because it helps people to make sense of the physical and social world and therein interact with it. Earlier research specializing in the study of human behaviour has emphasized a linkage between people’s perceptions and their behaviour. In this article, the authors employ a similar theory with the intent of proposing a theoretical framework that examines the factors that influence people’s perception and attitude (mitigation and response) towards the hazards they face. This discussion is done on the premise of “culture”, “experiences” and “disaster risk reduction”. In addition, the authors examine the issues that influence local people’s understanding of NADMO, an agency mandated by government to manage disasters and similar situations in their communities. A key argument of this paper is, people’s seemingly “irrational” attitude towards a disaster situation or an institution has an underlying “rational” cause embedded in culture and the failure of entrusted authorities. Using a qualitative research strategy and a narrative approach, the perceptions of flood victims living along the Volta River of Ghana are discussed within the broader concept of community based disaster management.
Read full paper https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.04.009.