A GIS Analysis of the Spatial Pattern of Social Vulnerability in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria


Anietie S. Ekpenyong and Joseph C. Udoh

Department of Geography and National Resources Management

University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria




The study used six vulnerability components (socioeconomic, employment status, age, health, educational level, household index) data to model the pattern of social vulnerability index of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria using GIS techniques. Each of the different constituent layers of the six social vulnerability component layers were standardized, combined and weighted according to their level of importance and contributions to form the six layers. The six layers were then combined to derive the final social vulnerability index map of the study area. The final layer was then reclassified and ranked to derive the three zones of social vulnerability. The spatial patterns of the constituent and final vulnerability layers were generated and displayed using maps and tables.  From the study, the high social vulnerability areas were found in the north western part of the state stretching from Obot Akara to Ukanafun (excluding Ika) LGAs. Another area of High Social vulnerability was also found in the central part of the state (including Mkpat Enin and Ibesikkpo LGAs). Low social vulnerability areas were found in five LGAs including Uyo, Okobo,  Oron and the LGAs bordering the Atlantic Oscean – Eastern Obolo, Ibeno and Mbo .The study demonstrated the capabilities of GIS in mapping social vulnerability for Akwa Ibom State. The north western part of the state stretching from Obot Akara to Ukanafun (excluding Ika) LGAs and other areas were identified with high social vulnerability meaning that this section would be worst affected during and after disasters. Social Vulnerability mapping has a role to play in educating the public about social, environmental and composite indicators of human well-being. Addressing social vulnerability will contribute to a greater understanding of the nature and level of risk that the vulnerable people will face, source of the risk and also put in place measures at all levels to reduce the risk effect and the initiatives needed to reduce the vulnerability and also strengthen the capacities of people at risk.

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