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Impact of climate change on planning and dealing with flood disaters in Southern Africa

Author(s): Experiences since 2000 necessitates a paradigm shift
Congress: 2008
Author(s):
Prof MF Viljoen Department of Agricultural Economics University of the Free State Bloemfontein South Africa

Keyword(s): Southern African region, large floods, flood hydrograph, flood control strategy
AbstractA number of large floods occured in the Southern African region (South Africa, Mosambique and Zimbabwe)since the start of the new millenium. Comparing these with previous floods indicate changes with regard to: the hydrological characteristics of the floods ( the form of the flood hydrograph), the nature, extent and composition of the damages (a larger portion of damages are now indirect and intangible), the increasing vulnerability of flood victims ( especially the rural poor), and the relative effectiveness of different flood mitigation measures and coping strategies ( differences between urban and rural and between wealthy and poor communities). The changes necesitates rethinking and changing the traditional ways to plan and deal with floods. Issues to be revisited include the impact of changes in the characteristics of the flood hydrograph (i.e. mean and variance) on the suitability of various flood control measures, the merit to change the strategy from flood prevention and control to flood mitigation and restoration, and the need for trans-boundary flood control policies and strategies.
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