University of Twente Student Theses


The effect of land tenure on the access to assistance for the long-term recovery of flood damage

Ushiña Huera, Dennis Paul (2023) The effect of land tenure on the access to assistance for the long-term recovery of flood damage.

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Abstract:Climate change intensifies the frequency and severity of extreme floods, exceeding the adaptative capacity of both human and natural systems and inflicting significant harm, particularly among vulnerable populations. In the aftermath of major floods, providing economic assistance becomes vital for restoring the livelihoods and living conditions of affected communities in the medium and long term. Access to this assistance can be facilitated or hindered by social vulnerabilities to flooding, such as land tenure. This study aims to investigate the influence of land tenure on access to repair and rebuilding assistance following major floods, using the 2021 flood in Valkenburg, The Netherlands, as a case study. The chosen methodology for this research is a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) to Flood Risk Management (FRM). The SIA approach enables the identification and evaluation of social impacts associated with loss of life and property, livelihoods, migration, psychosocial effects, and barriers to economic growth and development. In this study, repair and rebuilding assistance refers to financial compensation for repairing household belongings and housing damage. The research encompasses expert interviews, a household survey, and an extensive literature review of flood reports as part of the SIA to FRM. The findings identified three private and public compensation schemas available to affected households. The primary compensation schema involved private flood insurance. When the flood was officially categorized as a disaster, the government introduced the Disaster Compensation Act (WTS) to relieve the economic burden. Additionally, the National Disaster Fund (NRF), which gathers financial contributions from the community, also extended compensation to the victims. Land tenure has a relation with access to assistance, as public and private compensations provide tailored products for owners and renters through home and content insurance. The utilization of tenure information, along with personal data from the "Key Registers" in the Netherlands, is also widely employed to facilitate victim access and enable organizations involved in the recovery process to identify victims and distribute financial aid. The findings also indicate various impacts experienced by households, including uncertainty regarding future floods, increased risk perception, increased workload, and stress. Another common impact reported was dissatisfaction with the assistance process; households' experiences in accessing assistance are split among highly positive or negative, with some receiving adequate assistance and others finding their expectations unfulfilled. The intensity of the impacts during long-term recovery demonstrated variations between renters and owners, indicating that tenure status can shape the experience of flood victims. Moreover, the SIA method proved to be a suitable approach for assessing the social impacts of measures implemented in FRM. It can be concluded that a robust tenure system and disaster management measures reliant on it can help reduce disparities in the recovery of flood victims. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement, and the SIA for FRM provides a helpful framework for evaluating the outcomes of these interventions. Such assessments should be considered when enhancing policies and strategies in preparation for future floods.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Subject:38 earth sciences, 71 sociology, 74 (human) geography, cartography, town and country planning, demography
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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