Flood Exposure Mapping and Social Vulnerability to Flood using Multi-Criteria Evaluation: A Case of Awash Fentale Woreda, Afar regional State, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Recent evidence shows that flooding is one of the most common and severe hazards disrupting people's lives and livelihoods in the world. Flood risk in Ethiopia is increasing both in intensity and coverage, particularly in lowland areas crossed by major rivers. However, the effects of flood disasters are not equal for every region, society, and community. Context-based studies on social vulnerability are very essential to identify major driving factors and address vulnerable people. It is the intention of this thesis to analyze spatial variations of social vulnerability driving factors, vulnerable groups and its impact of the 2020 kirmet season flood in Awash Fentale Woreda of Afar Regional State. GIS and remote sensing methods for exposure mapping trough selected elements at risk, AHP methods of multi-criteria evaluations along with the survey result used to identify, rank and weight the major drivers of social vulnerability, survey method was used to identify the most socially vulnerable groups in the study area. The result shows that the study area was exposed to the 2020 kirmet season flood with an impact on land use, settlements, roads and populations. Housing structure, nearness to flood sites, source of income, access to information about flood, access to evacuation centers, education level, flood experience, access to road, access to health facilities, household compositions, training on flood preventions and preparedness and support were the major driving factors of vulnerability in the study area. From which the housing structure ranked as the most important factor in contributing (15%) for households’ vulnerability to flooding, followed by nearness to flood sites (13%). Households with dependent family members, live close to the major rivers, far from the main road, not able to access basic amenities, evacuation center, transport services, no social or PSNP assistance, receive less than 3,000 ETB mean monthly income, those depends on weak livelihood base, no-flood related training, no flood experience, not able to get flood information, as well as no formal educational background, are found to be the most vulnerable groups in the study area. The study result shows that the importance of a combined method of GIS, multi-criteria evaluations and survey for identifying, weighting and ranking of driving factors for social vulnerability to flooding. It also shows that context-specific nature of social vulnerability to flooding



Flood, Social Vulnerability, GIS and Remote Sensing, AHP and MCE