Estimating damage costs of flooding on small- and medium-sized enterprises in Kigali, Rwanda
Hess, Janto S.
Bizoza, Alfred R.
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In the past, Kigali has frequently experienced heavy rain events. These have often led to flooding, which also affected businesses. In the face of climate change, such events can become more frequent and can threaten economic development. To determine if more action is needed to protect businesses from flooding, we assessed how many businesses have suffered damages from floods in certain years in a certain area of Kigali. We also gathered information on how businesses were affected, how they are preparing for flooding and what support they are seeking. We developed and piloted a survey, a standardised questionnaire for gathering information on the relevance of flooding for businesses. The survey was then conducted among 350 businesses in Kigali asking business owners about their experiences with flooding in recent years. Eighty-one per cent of businesses have been affected by floods in 2013 and 2014. The annual damage costs resemble 22% of the total net profit of the businesses in the area. The most common damages were damages to goods that were to be sold and damages to buildings. The extent of past flood damages warrants action on flood risk management, both by businesses and citizens, as well as by city officials. Suitable actions range from increasing awareness about suitable protection measures to upgrading the sewage system.