Flood risk induced relocation in urban areas. Case studies of Bwaise and Natete, Kampala
A number of factors contribute to Kampala’s high incidence of flash floods including poor drainage, high rate of urbanization and land use/ cover change. This flooding is accentuated by climate change with serious consequences to households in Kampala. Households make complex and challenging decisions to leave their homes and relocate to new locations with less flood risk. This research analyses the decisions regarding relocation from flood risk areas. The objectives include; (1) characterizing flood risk induced relocation; (2) assessing the possible tipping points that make people relocate and perceived the risk of staying. (3) Assessing the city level strategies to mitigate flooding. The research was based on experiences of relocation induced by flooding risk from the respondents in two locations of Kampala. The tolerable risk (why people makes people live in flood-prone areas) was assessed in terms of drivers for households’ tolerance of flooding risks like Social identity, historical perspective and economic status. Tipping points are viewed as those incidences that trigger residents to relocate. Factors including education, social, and flood mitigation, the high cost of responding to flood, low savings, and constant loss of property and destruction of houses force households to voluntarily relocate. The city level strategies to mitigate flooding are analysed in relation to how public institutions manage to flood. KCCA values people’s property and thereby compensate them for flood mitigation projects but doesn’t relocate people, individuals or families find where they can relocate by themselves. The research concludes that flood-induced relocation is a coping strategy for households that are affected by flooding and afford to relocate and that most people are tolerant to flood risk which suggests that any decision to relocate is not the primary determined by the flooding risk but they are other fundamental factors that influence their decision to relocate.