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Living with increasing floods: insights from a rural Philippine community

Jean‐Christophe Gaillard (UMR 5194 Pacte CNRS, Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France)
Michael R.M. Pangilinan (Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon, Angeles City, Philippines)
Jake Rom Cadag (Department of Geography, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines)
Virginie Le Masson (Université de Grenoble, Grenoble, France)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Article publication date: 20 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to consider people's ways of coping with increasing flooding in a Philippine rural community.


The paper relies on extensive field work conducted between July and August 2006. It cross‐checks data from different sources including interviews with key informants, a questionnaire‐based survey, informal group discussions, passive and stationary observations and photographic documentation. Field work was completed by the collection of secondary written documents.


The paper emphasizes that the capacity of flood‐affected people to cope with increasing hazards is rooted in their ability to adjust their everyday lifestyles. Flood‐affected people seldom rely on extraordinary measures to face nature's extremes. People's ability to adjust their daily life is deeply dependent on the strength of their livelihoods and social network. The kind and variety of livelihoods turned out to be a critical factor in securing the financial means to purchase enough food to satisfy daily needs. Social networking was also found to be critical in providing alternative support in times of crisis.

Practical implications

This paper fosters the use of community‐based disaster risk reduction programmes coupled with development objectives to enhance people's capacity to cope with natural hazards. It further underlines the need to empower people to make them less vulnerable in the face of natural hazards through fair access to resources.


This article contributes to the understanding of how people cope with natural hazards in the Philippines and provides an array of possible remedial strategies for community‐based disaster risk reduction.



Gaillard, J., Pangilinan, M.R.M., Rom Cadag, J. and Le Masson, V. (2008), "Living with increasing floods: insights from a rural Philippine community", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 383-395.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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