Coping with climate change induced floods in Natete, an informal settlement in Kampala, Uganda
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Rapid urbanization taking place in informal settlements of Kampala in them aggravates the impact of climate change in Kampala. The city which was designed for 300,000 people now accommodates more than 1.72 million (UBOS 2012). This has driven the city newcomers to settle in unsafe areas designated as ‘ecological areas’. These are the low lying areas which are by its very nature vulnerable to flood water and swamps because initially they acted as collection areas for storm water Climate change in Kampala is largely seen in terms of an increased severity of floods due to heavy, sudden and recurrent rainfalls. Local communities try to adjust to these effects using local innovation and technological input. Some of these coping measures can however assist families in the short-term, but cannot deal with increasing and ever more severe shocks. This study was conducted in Natete, an informal settlement, a “slum” by any other definition; it is located in one of suburbs of Kampala city. This study was out to investigate the impact of the increased frequency of climate change induced floods in the settlement and the adaptation strategies applied by its inhabitants. It was found out that in Natete the situation was not at its best. There were coping measures practiced at different levels. Their effectiveness was determined by capacity in I terms of access to resources. Those who has access to resources, employed better methods such use of gabions, raised foundations such that water could not enter their premises. Their counterpart did activities which could just save them on daily basis. Their measures were found not be long term solution to building resilience. This challenges the recent romanticizing of local knowledge to adaption. In actually sense, local knowledge for this case proved not to be effective at all. The success of coping largely depended on resource base. The rich people will always have an advantage of the poor since activities that would avert the problem required capital in put which, most of the people didn’t have.