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Mabuku, M.P., Senzanje, A., Mudhara, M., Jewitt, G.P.W. and Mulwafu, W.O. 2019. Strategies for coping and adapting to flooding and their determinants: A comparative study of cases from Namibia and Zambia. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C: In Press


Description:

Strategies for coping and adapting to flooding and their determinants: A comparative study of cases from Namibia and Zambia.

Summary / Notes:

It has been reported that flood events in Namibia and Zambia will increase, due to the variability and changes in the climate, thus increasing the number of people that are exposed to flooding disasters. This exposure will negatively impact the livelihoods of rural households if no interventions are implemented to strengthen the coping and adaptive capacity of the affected local population against flooding. The purpose of this case study was to determine the adaptation strategies that are adopted by rural households to floods in the eastern part of the Zambezi Region in Namibia and the Mwandi District in Zambia. The study further examined how socio-economic factors influence the choice of different adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies were categorised into two groups, namely, short-term coping strategies and long-term adaptation strategies. Six focus group meetings were held and a questionnaire survey of 207 randomly-sampled households was conducted in the flood-prone areas of the study. In Namibia, the results indicated that the majority (96%) of the households coped with floods by gardening and sold poles, 74% sold firewood, 61% collected wild food and 59% received food aid during floods events. In Zambia, the major coping strategies included the sale of reeds and thatching grass (53%), firewood sales (51%), charcoal production and sales (51%) and wild food collection for sale (50%). With regard to the long-term adaptation strategies, the households in Namibia learnt to live with the floods; they engaged in the mafisa cattle trade (86%), they harvested the flood water (68%), changed the planting dates (63%), prayed (55%) and practiced conservation agriculture (54%) and fish farming (53%). In Zambia, the main long-term adaptation strategies were conservation agriculture (91%), the acquisition of preparedness skills (66%), the harvesting of flood water (63%), prayer (60%), and the practice of flood-proofing (52%). A multiple linear regression analysis showed that the age, the land size, the length of stay in the flood plain, the duration of the floods, as well as their marital status, significantly influenced their choice of long-term adaptation strategies. Short-term strategies are heavily dependent on natural resources, which may put pressure on these resources. The study concludes that a variety of factors influence the choice of any specific adaptation strategy. For policy purposes, this suggests that the relevant stakeholder interventions should consider these determinants, in order to enhance the adaptive capacity of rural households to flooding. This study seeks to inform decision-makers and practitioners on how the disaster risks can be reduced and managed in the similar environments of the two countries, and to inform them of the status quo of flood adaptation. Keywords: Adaptation, Coping, Floods, Mwandi district, Rural households, Namibia, Zambia.

Year: 2019

Type: Journal Article

URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pce.2018.12.009


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