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Assessing and mapping social vulnerability to flash floods

Odeyemi, Chris Adebola (2013) Assessing and mapping social vulnerability to flash floods.

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Abstract:The increasing frequency of flooding around the world, which is sometimes attributed to climate change, is not only becoming severe but also impacting negatively on the population. With global urbanization flooding is also becoming an urban problem. This study was part of the Integrated Flood Management (IFM) of Kampala, a UN-Habitat sponsored project, which recognises that flooding in Kampala is multi-dimensional and multi-sectorial; other issues that characterised the study area include among other problems, are, inadequate storm water drainage, informal settlements and other development in hazard-prone areas, inappropriate or inadequate land-use, inadequate disaster response plans and underlying many of the above named issues are poverty and lack of resources and high rates of urbanization. The impact of flooding on the population can be reduced by designing a methodology for assessing and mapping the socially vulnerable population to flash floods at the household level, which is the main objective of this study. It is believed that the methodology will enhance methods used in reducing the impact of flash floods incorporating this method into governments’ policies and programmes on disaster reduction. The methodology is based on the main components of social vulnerability, which captures the exposure, susceptibility and coping mechanisms of households to flash floods. The study started with a review of relevant literatures about the traditional or “classical” indicators of vulnerability assessment, in order to identify which one contributes to or reduces social vulnerability to flash floods. A questionnaire was administered to a sample of 90 households in the study area, the Bwaise settlement in Kampala. The study also carried out interviews with official of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), NGOs and some residents, and secondary data from other sources. These various data were then integrated into a database, and indicators have been identified by using descriptive statistical. The main factors that contribute to social vulnerability were then categorized under the components of social vulnerability, and spatial multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) was then used to evaluate these components to obtain the overall Social vulnerability Index (SVI). One significant outcome of this study is a Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) map, which shows respondents’ exposure, susceptibility and coping, mechanism levels of the study area. The results reveal that, though, households may vary somewhat in terms of their exposure, susceptibility, and coping mechanism, the majority of the households have a high social vulnerability index (SVI). The resulting SVI map is not a static one, there is a need to update it regularly, because certain indicators doo change. Keywords: Urban Flooding, Flash floods, Social Vulnerability Index (SVI), Households.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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