Floods Vulnerability and Mechanisms for Mitigation or Adaptation of the Population and the Urban Planning Process in the Municipality of Matola, Mozambique

Research project
Inactive research
Project period
2019 - 2023
Project owner
Unit for Human Geography, Department of Economy and Society

Short description

The Municipality of Matola, located near the coast, in Maputo Bay, suffered the most devastating flood event in the year 2000. This event seriously affected the local population, as well as social and economic infrastructures. More recently in 2014/2015, flooding was repeated, although not with the same intensity. The overall aim of this PhD project is to analyse the strategies of mitigation and/or adaptation in relation to flooding used by the local population and in the municipal urban planning process, and the consequent urban development in the Municipality of Matola.

Doctoral student: José Lourenço Neves
Supervisor: Margareta Espling

In this context, in order to fulfil the aim, we present the propose of the following Research questions: (i) What is the degree of hazard, exposure, susceptibility, risk and vulnerability to flooding in the Matola, Lingamo and Infulene rivers and in the coastal protected wetlands of the municipality of Matola, based on the 2000 floods? (ii) What are the adaptation and/or mitigation strategies integrated by the authorities in the municipal urban planning process in the face of floods? (iii) What is the knowledge that the local population has about the floods, physical geographic characteristics of the area where it occupies and develops its activities in the Municipality of Matola? (iv) What are the adaptation and/or mitigation strategies used by the population that occupy the floodplains and coastal protection areas? (v) What is the urban planning strategy that offers the greatest possibilities of success associated with flooding mitigation or adaptation for Municipality of Matola? The Key research themes included:
(i) Flooding risk assessment: to produce a flooding risk map, using hydrological modelling tools in GIS based on meteorological data, especially precipitation data, considering the location in rivers basin areas.

(ii) Urban planning and flooding risk resilience: including information on mitigation and/or adaptation to flood risk carried out by the municipality's urban planning sector, as well as to what extent this process is participatory, involving the local population, other state sectors and/or private agents.

(iii) Population resilience to flooding stressors: this includes forms of adaptation and/or mitigation that the residents will resort to.

(iv) Urban planning for resilience to flooding: this involves working towards an urban planning strategy that offers the greatest possibilities in the future regarding flooding mitigation or adaptation for the resilience.

This work aims to combine the qualitative and quantitative approaches for collecting and processing Floods research data. Why the choice of this methodological crossover? Therefore, the combination of different methodologies will allow the enrichment of research. Therefore, the intersection of these approaches ensures complementarity required for an intense, deep and persistent work of analysis of the object of study (FERREIRA, 2015). In order to analyze the flood potential, the GIS analysis will be used to bring the past based on data from flood records that occurred in 2000 in the Municipality of Matola. Population and housing distribution data will be used based on the 1997 and 2017 census. Data on the distribution of social and economic infrastructure, including existing housing and economic projects, will also be used, which can be found in detail plans in the Urban Planning Sector in the Municipality of Matola. This will make it possible to map the risk and vulnerability to floods of the sites already affected and the socioeconomic impacts that occurred and the possible socioeconomic and environmental impacts of future flood scenarios.

Using direct observation will allow the collection of existing data types considered important for the understanding of the social phenomenon under study. Thus the researcher conducts interviews, will gather photographs, drawings and testimonials and other data that help in describing the fact during data analysis.

Based on questionnaires, information will be obtained from the focus group that are 500 residents of floodable areas, being 50% for each gender, the minimum age will be 21 years, who had experience of the floods of 2000, who live around or in places where the risk of floods was low and continue to inhabit it. Based on semi-structured interviews information will be obtained from technicians from the urban planning sector and public decision-makers; on the knowledge, experiences and the awareness that they have about the direct impacts of floods on the Municipality of Matola when the floods occurred, and what forms of mitigation or adaptation were used.

However, to protect my informants, I will use pseudonyms. Other ethical issues I will note are confidentiality and verbal and informal consent. All informants will be informed about the objectives of the project and I will work with people who agree to talk to me.