oa Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - An evaluation of the effectiveness of flood disaster mitigation measures in the city of Adigrat, Tigray region, Ethiopia
Ethiopia is one of the countries that experience regular flooding. This is mostly confined to certain low areas such as river basins. The Huga River that runs through the Adigrat City in the Tigray Region is one such case. Flooding in Adigrat often leads to loss of human lives, destruction of property as well as disruption of people's livelihoods. Despite a number of response measures that have been implemented by this City's administration, no comprehensive study has been undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of those measures. Therefore, between March and July 2009, this study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the City's flood mitigation strategy. Specifically, the study sought to evaluate both the structural and non-structural measures. Structural measures included the construction of new drainage channels; the diversion of river channels; and elevation of riverbanks. Non-structural measures included land use planning; flood disaster preparedness; and enactment and enforcement of rules and regulations. It was hoped that the findings of the study would help Adigrat City Administration to improve its flood disaster mitigation strategies. The study utilised primary data from the affected household heads, the City Administration, the Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau, the Road Construction Authority and some non-governmental organisations. Secondary data were obtained from literature as well as annual reports of the above organisations. The main findings of the study were that most of the drainage channels were sub-standard; land use planning and rules and regulations were not enforced; and a flood disaster preparedness strategy was non-existent. The City fathers attributed their failures to shortages of financial and qualified human resources. The major recommendation of the study is the urgent formulation of a flood management policy to guide mitigation operations and define the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder.
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