The impact of and responses to flooding in Thulamela Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Murungweni, Florence M.
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The frequency of climate-related disasters such as floods is growing due to environmental and human factors. This paper examines the impact of flooding and communities’ perceptions towards responses to flooding in the cases of Maniini and Tshilungwi Villages in the Thulamela Municipality in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. A questionnaire survey was conducted with 60 household respondents in the two selected villages and then analysed. Key-informant interviews with community leaders and municipality officials established the key impact of and responses to the flooding. Secondary data on flooding provided useful historical trends in the region. Field observations assisted in corroborating information provided in interviews. The findings indicate that communities are vulnerable to flood disasters, and these disasters had a significant impact on infrastructure and the livelihood of the selected communities. An increase in household income and levels of education as well as access to grants decreased households’ vulnerability in cases of flooding. The responses to flooding by the municipality were viewed negatively by the community who did not support permanent relocation. Hence, the article points out the need to strengthen coping mechanisms by local governments and communities themselves in order to cope with the impact of flooding.