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Assessing social vulnerability to drought in South Africa: Policy implication for drought risk reduction

Fumiso Muyambo, Andries J. Jordaan, Yonas T. Bahta

Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies; Vol 9, No 1 (2017), 7 pages. doi: 10.4102/jamba.v9i1.326

Submitted: 14 April 2016
Published:  31 January 2017


The aim of this article was to assess and identify social vulnerability of communal farmers to drought in the O.R. Tambo district in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa using a survey data and social vulnerability index (SoVI). Eleven social vulnerability indicators were identified using Bogardi, Birkman and Cardona conceptual framework. The result found that an SoVI estimated for O.R. Tambo district was very high with a Likert scale of 5 for cultural values and practices, security or safety, social networks, social dependence, preparedness strategies and psychological stress attributed for the high value of social vulnerability to drought. Indigenous knowledge and education had an SoVI value of 2, which was of low vulnerability, contributing positively to resilience to drought. The study also found that government involvement in drought risk reduction is limited; as a result, the study recommends that a national, provincial and district municipalities policy on drought risk reduction and mitigation should be developed.

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Author affiliations

Fumiso Muyambo, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, South Africa
Andries J. Jordaan, Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa, University of the Free State, South Africa
Yonas T. Bahta, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of the Free State, South Africa


social vulnerability index; drought; communal farmers; O.R. Tambo District; risk reduction; mitigation


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1. The role of indigenous knowledge in drought risk reduction: A case of communal farmers in South Africa
Fummi Muyambo, Yonas T. Bahta, Andries J. Jordaan
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies  vol: 9  issue: 1  year: 2017  
doi: 10.4102/jamba.v9i1.420

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ISSN: 1996-1421 (print) | ISSN: 2072-845X (online)

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