|Type||Journal Article - International journal of disaster risk reduction|
|Title||Quantifying vulnerability of rural communities to flooding in SSA: a contemporary disaster management perspective applied to the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi|
In response to the increasing frequency and economic damages of natural disasters globally,
disaster management has evolved significantly to incorporate vulnerability assessments that are multidimensional,
integrated and metric-based. This is to support knowledge-based decision making and
hence sustainable disaster risk reduction. In Malawi and most of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), however,
flood vulnerability assessments mainly focusing on social vulnerability, have been largely qualitative.
The subjective nature of such qualitative assessments makes their use for identifying relative
vulnerabilities of specific people and places, targeting of interventions, allocation of scarce resources
and monitoring of benefits that may arise from interventions extremely problematic. Viewing
vulnerability through exposure, susceptibility and capacity dimensions, all linked to social, economic,
physical and environmental factors, this study has used an index-based approach to quantify and
profile vulnerability to flooding of rural, subsistent communities in the Lower Shire Valley, Malawi.
Results show that vulnerability to flooding is susceptibility-driven with susceptibility magnitudes
manifesting as high to very high. In particular, socio-economic and to a large extent environmental
susceptibilities are predominantly high to very high. Economic and physical capacities tend to be low
but societal capacity tends to be high thereby attenuating overall capacity-induced vulnerability to
medium levels. Physical exposure is medium. Except for environmental vulnerability, spatial
differentiation in all forms of vulnerability across communities is in general marginal.
|»||Malawi - Third Integrated Household Survey 2010-2011|