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- Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2009
Cotton farmers' vulnerability to climate change in Gokwe District (Zimbabwe) : impact and influencing factorsAuthor Patrick GwimbiSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 81 –92 (2009)More Less
This study analyzes the vulnerability of cotton farmers to climate change in a cotton growing district in Zimbabwe. The vulnerability indicators studied include cotton output and farmers' livelihoods from cotton farming. In order to examine climate variability and change, a time series analysis of two variables: temperature and rainfall was done for a period of 30 years, resulting in graphs of any climate anomalies. Correlation tests between the independent variable (the climate) and the dependent variable (cotton output) were assessed in order to examine the nature and the magnitude of the relationship between the two. The opinions of 100 randomly sampled farmers were analysed in an attempt to verify the climate scenarios and cotton production trends, as well as to understand their adaptation to climate change. Negative rainfall deviations from the long-term mean and positive temperature deviations dominated the climate trend scenarios' results. Cotton production levels declined as precipitation decreased and temperatures increased across the district. The survey revealed that a significant number of farmers believed that temperatures were increasing and precipitation was declining. Farmers' perceptions on whether the climate was changing were greatly influenced by incidences of drought and changes in the seasonal timing of rainfall, and in few cases unusual floods. The majority believed the frequency of droughts was increasing. While farmers were prepared to adapt to changes in climate, their options were very limited. The results show that farmers are highly vulnerable to climate change and that there is a need to invest in climate adaptation strategies, including policies on irrigation and early warning systems to help farmers to cope better and to reduce their vulnerability to climate change.
The December 2004 - January 2005 floods in the Garden Route region of the Southern Cape, South AfricaSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 93 –112 (2009)More Less
The December 2004-January 2005 floods in the Garden Route region of the Southern Cape in South Africa have had a significant impact on local development and economic activities, tourism products and local institutions. This article aims to capture the dynamism between a number of related fields within the context of transdisciplinary research. Qualitative research methods were used to target a representative sample of the affected population. This article considers the history of the flooding events of December 2004/January 2005 along the Garden Route, as well as the manner in which emergency/disaster management personnel responded to the crisis. The effect of the floods on the tourism sector along the Garden Route was researched in general and the effects of the floods on tourists, local residents, and particularly communities in disadvantaged areas were specifically determined. The research reflects on the disaster risk management strategies that were in place at the time of the floods to determine what local authorities could have done to cope with the potential conditions of crisis. The research found that although some tourism products were severely affected, the 2004/2005 floods did not have a significant impact on the number of tourists frequenting the area. In terms of disaster risk management, concerns remain regarding the lack of the following factors: capacity, adequate early warning systems, proper infrastructure maintenance, local institutions, and an in-depth understanding of the disaster risk profile of the area.
Towards improved public awareness for climate related disaster risk reduction in South Africa : a Participatory Development Communication perspectiveAuthor Tigere ChagutahSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 113 –126 (2009)More Less
Southern Africa has frequently been struck by damaging climate hazards which increasingly continue to threaten sustainable development efforts. Ominously, climate models predict that the incidence of major 'wet' events, such as floods and cyclones will increase in frequency against the background of a changing climate. Unfortunately, local mechanisms for communicating and raising public awareness of the consequent risks and appropriate risk reduction options remain weak. At the core of policy responses to the threat posed by climate related hazards, the South African government has adopted a disaster risk reduction approach to disaster management. This article details how, among many other measures to limit the adverse impacts of natural hazards, South Africa's National Disaster Management Framework calls for the implementation of effective public awareness activities to increase the knowledge among communities of the risks they face and what risk-minimising actions they can take. Emphasis is laid on the importance of information provision and knowledge building among at-risk communities. Citing established theories and strategies, the author proposes a participatory development communication approach through Development Support Communication strategies for the provision of disaster risk reduction public awareness activities by government and other disaster risk reduction role-players in South Africa. By way of a review of completed studies and literature, the article provides guidance on the planning and execution of successful public communication campaigns and also discusses the constraints of communication campaigns as an intervention for comprehensive disaster risk reduction.
Participatory action research : addressing social vulnerability of rural women through income-generating activitiesSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 127 –144 (2009)More Less
Participatory action research (PAR) is a robust and versatile research and development strategy. It can be utilised to: understand complex community structures and interaction; determine various types of vulnerability; assist in community capacity building and skills transfer; ensure community participation, and allow for the strengthening of livelihoods. This article focuses on PAR as a strategy, applying various methods and specific participatory tools to understand social vulnerability, within the context of women as rural farm dwellers in the North-West Province, South Africa. It emphasises the need for continued participation and highlights the practical principles and benefits derived from PAR. The PAR process cycles are discussed and parallels are drawn with the practical setting. In conclusion, the article emphasises that the application of the PAR process can make a multi-dimensional contribution towards the development of a community by creating an understanding of social vulnerability, by building capacity and by ensuring participation, and also addresses income-generating activities.
Author Maximiliano E. KorstanjeSource: Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies 2, pp 147 –150 (2009)More Less
The present review discusses one of the pioneer projects authored by Ulrich Beck, regarding risk perception issues, which was originally titled Risikogesellshaft, Auf dem weg in eine andere Moderne or in English The society of risk, towards a new modernity. This review is part of a broader project related to a Social Psychology doctoral thesis on fears of travelling in urban circumstances.