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COMMUNICATION AS CRITICAL FACTOR IN DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
ABSTRACT: Disasters, whether natural or man-made have engendered widespread unimaginable destructions to lives and properties across the world. Floods, the most frequent and most devastating of all had, between 1971 and 1995 affected more than 1.5 billion people or 100 million annually out of which 318,000 were killed while more than 81 million became homeless. Nigeria which is the focus of this paper has had her fair share of this flood-induced tragedy. In what appears like an annual occurrence, flooding in Nigeria had resulted in the loss of many lives and properties worth billions of Naira perished apart from precipitating extensive social and economic dislocation. It has been acknowledged in the last two decades that, while disasters cannot be prevented, the impacts can be mitigated through effective and collective management systematically planned around timely sharing of disaster warning information among the disaster management teams and the vulnerable population. This is why this paper among others theoretically observed the various communication methods engaged in disaster management; evaluate the interplay of communication with other disaster management tools with the purpose of discovering their mutual roles in the four stages of disaster management. It verified whether these have contributed to sustainable development in Nigeria and lastly, recommended efficient collaborative measures that could minimise the risk areas and the potentially vulnerable communities.
KEYWORDS: Communication, Disaster Management, Sustainable Development