Flooding in South Africa

10 October 2016

Most floods take hours or days to develop, giving residents enough time to prepare or evacuate. Others happen quickly and with little warning. These flash floods can be extremely dangerous and cause major damage to the landscape and the habitants of such an area. Disaster specialists have various ways of classifying floods according to their likelihood of occurring and the intensity of the flood. A hundred-year flood, for example, is an extremely large, destructive event that would theoretically be expected to happen only once every century.

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Heavy rain in a short period of time in the part of South Africa, caused more than hundreds of people to be homeless by heavy flooding. Floods caused many to seek refuge on rooftops and on trees. This catastrophe killed more than hundreds of people causing the death toll to rise. Recently these floods caused evacuation of the Kruger National, a game reserve in Northern South Africa. Floods also covered some farmlands and crops were killed as a result forcing farms to close. Most of the roads, dams and large buildings were damaged. Due to flooding some mines were forced to close, this the case of a coal mines in Limpopo. Floods frequently causes major infrastructure damage of roads, railway lines, electricity supply systems, water supply and sewage disposal systems. Bribges over rivers are particularly exposed to damage and disruption of transportation systems follows. The economic effects of flooding are often greater than the flood itself. (Parker 2000) According to Parker (2000) because floods frequently destroy crops and livestock, food shortages are not uncommon in the aftermath.

Floods may affect food availability in a number of ways. Food stocks may be damaged if storage areas are flooded. Serious flooding usually disrupts transportation of food deficit areas, particularly in towns, which are cut off from supply sources and have inadequate food stock. Impacts of flooding may hinder the economic growth and development that is the high cost of relief and recovery may adversely impact investment in infrastructure and other development activities in the area and in certain cases may cripple the frail economy of the of the region.

Recurrent flooding in a region may discourage long-term investments by the government and private sector alike. Lack of livehoods, combined with migration of skilled labour and inflation may have a negative impact on a region’s economic growth. Loss of resource can lead to high costs of goods and services, delaying its development programmes. (Drep operation international federation of Red Cross and crescent societies). Figure 2 three kid were during floods in Limpopo

As discussed under various perspectives, it is clear from the assignment that floods had adverse impact on the socio-economic status of livehoods for people in South Africa more especially the residents of Limpopo. It is also evident that there are varying underlying causes of floods i South Africa. Places near the flood event are the most susceptible to the dangers of the floods. Proximity of these places and poverty were identified as being the main cause of vulnerability of people

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