Please join us for the School of Environmental Studies Colloquium on Thursday, March 28th featuring Dr. Adaku Echendu, a recent graduate from the School.

photo of Dr. Adaku Echendu

Date and time: Thursday March 28, 2:30 – 4 pm in Kinesiology Rm 106

Title: Centering Environmental Justice in Flooding Research

The world is experiencing numerous environmental changes mainly emanating from human-nature interactions. Flooding is one of those problems which impacts sustainability and development. The environmental, social, and economic impact cost of flooding is enormous with the psychological impacts remaining long after the waters have receded. Flood risk is set to rise globally due to climate change. It is a disaster with cascading effects and constitutes a major environmental issue, while presenting the greatest cost in terms of risk, of all likely climate impacts. The frequency of flooding events has steadily increased over the years especially in the urban areas with attendant disastrous effects. My work studied the increasing incidence in recent times of pluvial flooding in Port Harcourt, a Nigerian city. A mixed methods approach was adopted where residents with experiences of flooding and experts with relevant knowledge on the phenomenon were engaged with. This research sought empowerment and environmental justice by giving a voice to local residents and women whose knowledge is usually ignored in environmental management strategies and the incorporation of their insights in flood risk management. Despite a common experience of flooding in one city, there were differential impacts on a settlement basis. A new insight on a driver of flooding was revealed from this research. The overwhelming willingness of residents to relocate from high risk flood locations is an indication that planned retreat approaches would be accepted in the local situation and should be considered by the government. This empirical study of flooding with an environmental justice lens makes novel important empirical, practical, and theoretical contributions.


Dr. Adaku Echendu is an Interdisciplinary Environmental Researcher with a background in both the natural and social sciences. With a PhD in environmental Studies, she is passionate about exploring practical and sustainable solutions to environmental problems. Throughout her career, Adaku has collaborated with diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions, to advance environmental knowledge and promote evidence-based policy decisions. She is committed to advancing sustainability, grassroots empowerment, environmental justice, and inspiring the next generation of changemakers through her research and advocacy efforts.

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