An assessment of agricultural loss and damage related to floods in Kyoga basin: a case study of Kapiri catchment
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Globally, floods are among the most destructive disasters. They disrupt economic growth, destroy people’s livelihoods and cause food insecurity thereby undermining the well being of floodplain residents. Empirical evidence of flood risk and information regarding loss and damage associated with floods on agriculture, as well as the determinants of loss and damage is insufficient. Yet, this information is vital for devising and implementing effective flood risk management strategies. Therefore, this study aimed at better understanding of the temporal and spatial patterns of floods, their impacts on agriculture and the major determinants of flood related agricultural loss and damage. Eastern Uganda flooded severely from July to October 2007. One of the most affected rivers was Kapiri. This study was conducted in Kapiri catchment in the Lake Kyoga basin. Secondary data were collected on rainfall, hydrology and demographics. Primary data on crop and livestock loss were collected through a household semi – structured questionnaire survey. 350 respondents were selected through homogeneous purposive sampling. Lognormal (III) distribution in Hydrological Engineering Center Statistical Software Package (HEC-SSP) was employed to assess flood frequency. Flood modelling with the Geographic Information System (GIS) flood tool was used to assess spatial pattern of floods in Kapiri catchment. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression analysis in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) were employed to assess agricultural loss and damage and investigate the determinants of loss and damage. The 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 year return period floods translate into flow magnitudes of 133 cms, 376cms, 542 cms, 758 cms and 1137 cms. The 2007 flood event corresponded to a 50 year return period. August, September and October are the months with the highest flood risk. The 2007 flood event covered approximately 3800km2 which constituted 16% of Kapiri catchment. Inundated locations are characterized by low elevation (1100 to 1021 m.a.s.l), very gentle slopes (0 to 6% rise) and seasonal wetlands. 85% and 96.7% of the respondents suffered crop and livestock loss and damage respectively. The severity of agricultural loss and damage was largely dependent on number of years in farming and level of income diversification by a household. Floodplain residents mainly dug trenches, constructed embankments, harvested their crops prematurely and sold them at reduced prices in response to the floods. However, these measures were not effective in preventing flood loss and damage. The results imply that floods have affected the agriculture as a result of the community degrading the wetlands. It is proposed that a suit of actions including: upgrade of hydrological monitoring in the catchment, wetland conservation and promotion of household livelihood should be adopted. Findings of this research contribute to the body of knowledge in disaster risk management.
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