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Development and validation of risk profiles of West African rural communities facing multiple natural hazards

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

West Africa has been described as a hotspot of climate change. The reliance on rain-fed agriculture by over 65% of the population means that vulnerability to climatic hazards such as droughts, rainstorms and floods will continue. Yet, the vulnerability and risk levels faced by different rural social-ecological systems (SES) affected by multiple hazards are poorly understood. To fill this gap, this study quantifies risk and vulnerability of rural communities to drought and floods. Risk is assessed using an indicator-based approach. A stepwise methodology is followed that combines participatory approaches with statistical, remote sensing and Geographic Information System techniques to develop community level vulnerability indices in three watersheds (Dano, Burkina Faso; Dassari, Benin; Vea, Ghana). The results show varying levels of risk profiles across the three watersheds. Statistically significant high levels of mean risk in the Dano area of Burkina Faso are found whilst communities in the Dassari area of Benin show low mean risk. The high risk in the Dano area results from, among other factors, underlying high exposure to droughts and rainstorms, longer dry season duration, low caloric intake per capita, and poor local institutions. The study introduces the concept of community impact score (CIS) to validate the indicator-based risk and vulnerability modelling. The CIS measures the cumulative impact of the occurrence of multiple hazards over five years. 65.3% of the variance in observed impact of hazards/CIS was explained by the risk models and communities with high simulated disaster risk generally follow areas with high observed disaster impacts. Results from this study will help disaster managers to better understand disaster risk and develop appropriate, inclusive and well integrated mitigation and adaptation plans at the local level. It fulfills the increasing need to balance global/regional assessments with community level assessments where major decisions against risk are actually taken and implemented.

No MeSH data available.


The modular structure of the WESCRI.
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pone.0171921.g007: The modular structure of the WESCRI.

Mentions: Once the vulnerability and multi-hazard indices are estimated, the multi-risk profiles of all the communities can be estimated by implementing Eq 2. Fig 7 shows how the derivation of the final risk profile of the communities in the study areas.


Development and validation of risk profiles of West African rural communities facing multiple natural hazards
The modular structure of the WESCRI.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5382969&req=5

pone.0171921.g007: The modular structure of the WESCRI.
Mentions: Once the vulnerability and multi-hazard indices are estimated, the multi-risk profiles of all the communities can be estimated by implementing Eq 2. Fig 7 shows how the derivation of the final risk profile of the communities in the study areas.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

West Africa has been described as a hotspot of climate change. The reliance on rain-fed agriculture by over 65% of the population means that vulnerability to climatic hazards such as droughts, rainstorms and floods will continue. Yet, the vulnerability and risk levels faced by different rural social-ecological systems (SES) affected by multiple hazards are poorly understood. To fill this gap, this study quantifies risk and vulnerability of rural communities to drought and floods. Risk is assessed using an indicator-based approach. A stepwise methodology is followed that combines participatory approaches with statistical, remote sensing and Geographic Information System techniques to develop community level vulnerability indices in three watersheds (Dano, Burkina Faso; Dassari, Benin; Vea, Ghana). The results show varying levels of risk profiles across the three watersheds. Statistically significant high levels of mean risk in the Dano area of Burkina Faso are found whilst communities in the Dassari area of Benin show low mean risk. The high risk in the Dano area results from, among other factors, underlying high exposure to droughts and rainstorms, longer dry season duration, low caloric intake per capita, and poor local institutions. The study introduces the concept of community impact score (CIS) to validate the indicator-based risk and vulnerability modelling. The CIS measures the cumulative impact of the occurrence of multiple hazards over five years. 65.3% of the variance in observed impact of hazards/CIS was explained by the risk models and communities with high simulated disaster risk generally follow areas with high observed disaster impacts. Results from this study will help disaster managers to better understand disaster risk and develop appropriate, inclusive and well integrated mitigation and adaptation plans at the local level. It fulfills the increasing need to balance global/regional assessments with community level assessments where major decisions against risk are actually taken and implemented.

No MeSH data available.