Participatory approach to flood disaster management in Thohoyandou
In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in research from ‘top-down’ directives to
‘bottom-up’ planning. Thus, there has been a change from imposing strategies to a participatory
approach by indigenous people. This study uses the participatory approach to flood disaster
management in Thohoyandou and its environs. The aim of this study is twofold: first, to
understand the perception of communities towards floods hazards; and second, to probe how
communities respond to flood hazards and how this knowledge can be used in the planning and
management of future disasters. In order to achieve these objectives, participatory rural appraisal
(PRA), interviews and observation were used as data collection techniques. The study found
that there was consensus among the participants that flooding is a natural process, but human
activities enhance the risks of flooding. Human activities that were found to be the causes of
flood included clearance of vegetation, cultivation in steep slope areas, the effect of relief,
urbanisation, poor designs and maintenance of drainage system and settlement in inadequate
areas. The study found that local communities did not cope when there was flooding. However,
they suggested strategies that should be used to cope with future flood hazards.
Sinthumule, Ndidzulafhi I.; Mudau, Ntavheleni V.
Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies
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