Assessing Community Adaptation Strategies to Floods:

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The State University of Zanzibar



Background: Floods disasters around the world has increased for the last 20 years and affected billions of people. The same have been observed in Zanzibar which resulted to severe impacts in many parts of Urban-West Region and affected many people, threaten several lives and caused substantial economic losses. Therefore, this study intended to assess the community adaptation strategies to floods, the genesis of those strategies and the limiting factors for each adaptation strategies in flood-prone areas in Urban District in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Methodology: This was a cross sectional study design conducted in Shehia of Nyerere, Kwa Wazee and Jan’gombe. It involved 399 head of the households, 2 members from governmental and 2 members from non-governmental organizations dealing with disasters. Data was collected using interviewer administered questionnaire for heads of the households to assess their adaptation strategies and the limiting factors to adaptation strategies, while key informant interview was used to get information about the genesis of adaptation strategies and the limiting factors to adaptation strategies from the members of government and non-government organizations dealing with disasters. Results: The study revealed that majority of participants were females 231 (57.9%), age 40 and above, and most of them were non-government employees 206 (51.6%). Also the study discovered that community has been employing different adaptation strategies to reduce the floods risk at pre, during and after floods. Before flooding they use to cement floor, while during flooding moved to another place and after flooding did the structural repairs of their houses. Measures taken by the organizations include; giving early warning information through different media, waste management and construction of new drainage systems. Major factors hindering the community adaptations were; lack of resources, lack of technology and lack of social adhesion. It is suggested that the government should provide the support to the communities in order to improve their resilience against the floods. Also, the community should take upon explored adaptation opportunities available in the communities, and proposed effective and efficient future interventions.


Flood disaster, Impact of flood disaster