n Agrekon - Impact of climate change on planning and dealing with flood disasters in South Africa : a case study of Soweto on sea

Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0303-1853
  • E-ISSN: 2078-0400
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Climate change is an additional challenge for the African continent, which is already facing many challenges. It increases the uncertainty regarding the probability of flood occurrence, making weather less predictable, rainfall more uncertain but heavy storms more likely. This necessitates rethinking and changing the traditional ways of planning and dealing with floods. When flooding occurs according to a predictable pattern, an optimal package of flood damage control measures can be planned in advance, but when flood events become unpredictable due to climate change, the optimal package of flood damage control measures will change, cannot be planned with sufficient certainty in advance and different management strategies are needed. In this study a benefit cost analysis was applied to compare the merits of different structural flood mitigation options for Soweto-on-Sea, with and without climate change. The option with the highest net benefit remains the clearing out of the river channel for both (with and without) scenarios. In order to protect/improve the quality of life of the urban poor flood victims, the economic dimension of flood control planning, which is implied when using benefit cost analysis to select the best flood mitigation option, is insufficient. Besides the economic dimension, the social and environmental dimensions must also be included, suggesting that a multi-criteria decision analysis procedure be used.

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