oa Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Assessment of adaptation strategies to flooding : a comparative study between informal settlements of Keko Machungwa in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Sangkrah in Surakarta, Indonesia : original research

Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1996-1421
  • E-ISSN: 2072-845X



A large number of informal settlements in developing countries are located in high risk areas (low-lying lands and on river banks). This situation is caused by poverty and the inability of authorities to supply planned plots for building to meet demands of the growing urban populations. Informal settlements have, in turn, triggered disaster risks, flooding being just one of them. As a way of reducing impacts of flooding, residents in informal settlements have resorted to the use of structural adaptation strategies. Despite these efforts, the vulnerability of people and properties in informal settlements is increasing. This article aimed to provide an answer as to why this is the case, by assessing and comparing the technical suitability of adaptation strategies to flooding in the informal settlements of Sangkrah and Keko Machungwa and recommending measures for improvement. Household interviews, physical observation (visual inspections of signs of damage and deterioration), measurements of height of physical adaptation strategies, mapping, photographing, and in-depth interviews were the key methods employed. Generally, in both cases, it was determined that flood mitigation and risk minimisation measures through structural adaptation strategies were hardly achieved at the household level, as adaptation strategies were constructed with little or no attention to acceptable technical considerations. However, when levels of compliance to technical considerations in the construction of houses were compared between the two cases, they were found to be slightly higher in Sangkrah than in Keko Machungwa. Residents in Sangkrah demonstrated a slight difference, especially in the use of reinforced concrete (4.3%) for constructing a building's foundation, as well as in the use of ceramics (72.9%) to construct the floor. In order to deliver technically suitable adaptation strategies, efforts need to be directed toward: regulating and controlling the construction of structures for adaptation, enhancing individual coping capacity, deployment of a workforce trained in disaster risk and management and enforcement of relevant urban planning and environmental management laws in managing risky areas.

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