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Title: The role of social capital in flood preparedness in Kilosa District, Tanzania
Author: Hegga, Salma S.
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines flood preparedness approaches in an East African context. There is growing awareness that the impacts of disasters can be reduced if the communities in hazard-prone areas have knowledge and capacity to effectively respond to a particular hazard. Understanding why only some groups of households are prepared for flood hazards while others are not is crucial, as flood disasters cause significant loss of human lives and livelihoods that impose unbudgeted spending on emergency relief and recovery for government and households. Although much work has been undertaken in US and Europe, little research has been undertaken to understand the actual processes through which flood preparedness occurs in an African context. Particularly lacking is the analysis of the complex relationships between the state and community i.e. the nature of the ties that connect public officials and citizens (embeddedness) and mutually supportive relationships between the state and community (complementarity) in facilitating flood preparedness. This thesis investigates the motivating factors that lead resJdents of Kilosa District, Tanzania, to prepare for flood events. Kilosa District is a relatively poor area with low levels of income and dependence on crop cultivation. Their exposure to flood hazards generates a range of social and economic implications. Using five different approaches namely: stakeholder analyses; exposure analyses; vulnerability analyses; risk perception assessments; and social network analyses, this study investigated the process and drivers of preparation. Data were collected using a multi-method approach including household surveys, semi- structured interviews and focus group discussions. The results reveal that flood preparedness can be enhanced by jointly considering the complexities between the physical factors and societal processes. In Kilosa District, vulnerable households live in locations with high levels of exposure to floods and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Collaborative engagement between the government and the community is shown to be essential for effective flood risk planning. Household surveys reveal that flood preparedness is more successful when built on trusting relationships, frequent interaction and active engagement of different actor groups in disaster mitigation activities. Flood emergency response (e.g. evacuation, temporary accommodation) is more successful when built on existing informal networks. Nevertheless, micro- finance operations can affect - both positively and negatively - a household's long- term preparedness. Preparation for floods, which includes activities such as livelihood diversification and improvement in house structures, is a subjective decision affected by individual interpretations of risk, fear of floods and past hazard exposure. Without considering the complex relationships between the state and society, by including actors at all scales,flood risk planning will prove to be expensive and ineffective. Synergistic relations between the government and the residents of Kilosa District proved to be critical in explaining how households access resources for individual or collective flood response. These findings offer a practical means of increasing the likelihood of individuals adapting to flood events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available