Recovery and resilience of communities in flood risk zones in a Small Island Developing State: A case study from a suburban settlement of Port Louis, Mauritius

Chacowry, Anoradha, McEwen, Lindsey and Lynch, Kenneth ORCID: 0000-0002-5296-2864 (2018) Recovery and resilience of communities in flood risk zones in a Small Island Developing State: A case study from a suburban settlement of Port Louis, Mauritius. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 28. pp. 826-838. doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.03.019

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Small island developing states (SIDS) are characterised by their small size, remoteness and their dispersal in vulnerable regions globally. In Mauritius, rapid economic growth and expansion of suburban and coastal settlements in flood risk zones have exacerbated challenges from increased vulnerability of local communities to frequent flooding and inadequate resilience. While most studies are devoted to coastal flooding due to sea level rise, inland flooding aggravated by human settlements on exposed areas and by human-environment interaction is rarely considered. Generally, studies have focused on immediate flood impacts rather than on post-event recovery factors that reduce resilience and lead to the inability to recover through successive events. This includes living through onslaught of secondary hazards post-event. This study (2008-2014) focuses on the recovery and resilience of a flood-prone community living in a suburban area of Port-Louis, the capital of Mauritius. A mixed method of quantitative and qualitative approaches was used to examine the recovery and resilience of the community at household level. Results from quantitative analysis showed significant associations at p≤0.05 between variables relating to recovery and those of income level, literacy level, and household size with children, and/or elderly persons. Qualitative results from focus group interviews indicated that social inequity and environmental injustice hindered recovery among low-income households. However, some resilience was present through community capital, with solidarity in times of adversity amongst some community sub-groups. Outcomes from a participatory exercise showed that experiential knowledge of how to cope with floods was crucial in resilience-building strategies of households and communities.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: SIDS; Inland flooding; Recovery; Community resilience; Environmental justice; Experiential knowledge
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Kenny Lynch
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:58

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