Community awareness and perception on hazards in Southwest Ethiopia: A cross-sectional study

Kifle Woldemichael Hajito, Hailay Abrha Gesesew, Negalign Berhanu Bayu, Yohannes Ejigu Tsehay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Natural and human made hazards and associated disasters continue to pose a serious threat to Ethiopia. The objective of this paper is to assess awareness level of rural communities about hazards and their perceived vulnerability to cope with disasters. Cross-sectional survey was conducted in randomly selected districts of Jimma zone, Ethiopia. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected. Flood (66.2%), fire (61.2%), drought (51.2%) and disease outbreaks (45.3%) were the commonest hazards/disasters. Most (85.5%) of the respondents had awareness about at least one hazard/disaster. More than 36% of respondents perceived that they are vulnerable to one or more natural or man-made disasters. Respondents in age ≧50. yrs were less likely to have awareness about hazards compared to respondents in age category 18-24 (AOR=0.274, CI: 0.102-0.730). Moreover, those who participated in disaster related trainings were more likely to have awareness compared to those who did not (AOR=2.074, CI: 1.040-4.136). Similarly, respondents who could read and write have more perceived ability to cope with future disasters as compared to illiterates (AOR=2.53, CI: 1.76-3.65). Respondents had some awareness about hazards/disasters. Training and education have positive association with the level of awareness and perceived ability to cope with disasters. Therefore, community based training on disaster preparedness and response is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-357
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Awareness
  • Coping strategy
  • Disaster
  • Hazard
  • Southwest Ethiopia


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