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Floods and health in Gambella region, Ethiopia: a qualitative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of coping mechanisms.

Wakuma Abaya, Samson; Mandere, Nicodemus LU and Ewald, Göran LU (2009) In Global Health Action 2.
Abstract
BACKGROUND: Floods are the most frequent and devastating type of natural disaster worldwide, causing unprecedented deaths, diseases, and destruction of property and crops. Flooding has a greater impact in developing countries due to lack of sufficient disaster management structures and a lack of economic resources. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted with the aim of contributing to the knowledge base of development strategies that reduce flood-related health risks in developing countries. The study focused particularly on assessing the flood risks and health-related issues in the Gambella region of Ethiopia; with the intent of producing relevant information to assist with the improvements in the efficacy of the current flood coping... (More)
BACKGROUND: Floods are the most frequent and devastating type of natural disaster worldwide, causing unprecedented deaths, diseases, and destruction of property and crops. Flooding has a greater impact in developing countries due to lack of sufficient disaster management structures and a lack of economic resources. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted with the aim of contributing to the knowledge base of development strategies that reduce flood-related health risks in developing countries. The study focused particularly on assessing the flood risks and health-related issues in the Gambella region of Ethiopia; with the intent of producing relevant information to assist with the improvements in the efficacy of the current flood coping strategies in the region. METHODS: Data were gathered through interviews with 14 officers from different government and non-governmental organizations and a questionnaire survey given to 35 flood victims in Itang woreda. A qualitative approach was applied and the data were analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: It was found that flooding is a common problem in Gambella region. The findings also indicate that the flood frequency and magnitude has increased rapidly during the last decade. The increase in floods was driven mainly by climate change and changes in land use, specifically deforestation. The reported main impacts of flooding on human health in Gambella region were deaths, injuries, and diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. Another notable consequence of flooding was crop destruction and subsequent malnutrition. CONCLUSIONS: Three weaknesses that were identified in the current coping strategies for flood-related health impacts in Gambella region were a lack of flood-specific policy, absence of risk assessment, and weak institutional capacity. This study recommends new policy approaches that will increase the effectiveness of the current flood coping strategies to sustainably address the impact of flooding on human health. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Global Health Action
volume
2
publisher
Co-action Publishing
external identifiers
  • wos:000208160000015
  • pmid:20027252
  • scopus:84863555277
ISSN
1654-9880
DOI
10.3402/gha.v2i0.2019
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9d6d49f2-c3c3-4eb9-a904-dda39a29a0af (old id 1523397)
date added to LUP
2010-01-15 10:04:28
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:12:09
@article{9d6d49f2-c3c3-4eb9-a904-dda39a29a0af,
  abstract     = {BACKGROUND: Floods are the most frequent and devastating type of natural disaster worldwide, causing unprecedented deaths, diseases, and destruction of property and crops. Flooding has a greater impact in developing countries due to lack of sufficient disaster management structures and a lack of economic resources. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted with the aim of contributing to the knowledge base of development strategies that reduce flood-related health risks in developing countries. The study focused particularly on assessing the flood risks and health-related issues in the Gambella region of Ethiopia; with the intent of producing relevant information to assist with the improvements in the efficacy of the current flood coping strategies in the region. METHODS: Data were gathered through interviews with 14 officers from different government and non-governmental organizations and a questionnaire survey given to 35 flood victims in Itang woreda. A qualitative approach was applied and the data were analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: It was found that flooding is a common problem in Gambella region. The findings also indicate that the flood frequency and magnitude has increased rapidly during the last decade. The increase in floods was driven mainly by climate change and changes in land use, specifically deforestation. The reported main impacts of flooding on human health in Gambella region were deaths, injuries, and diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. Another notable consequence of flooding was crop destruction and subsequent malnutrition. CONCLUSIONS: Three weaknesses that were identified in the current coping strategies for flood-related health impacts in Gambella region were a lack of flood-specific policy, absence of risk assessment, and weak institutional capacity. This study recommends new policy approaches that will increase the effectiveness of the current flood coping strategies to sustainably address the impact of flooding on human health.},
  author       = {Wakuma Abaya, Samson and Mandere, Nicodemus and Ewald, Göran},
  issn         = {1654-9880},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Co-action Publishing},
  series       = {Global Health Action},
  title        = {Floods and health in Gambella region, Ethiopia: a qualitative assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of coping mechanisms.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v2i0.2019},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2009},
}