Flood Risk Communication within Flood Prone Communities of the Okavango Delta, Botswana

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Olekae Tsompi Thakadu
Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole
Christoph Sommer
Ndumiso Mthombeni
Phatsimo Ditlhakeng


 Floods have attracted much research attention and great improvements in forecasting them have been achieved to-date. However, the number of people affected by floods is increasing and the number is bound to soar as hydro-meteorological projections show that the frequency and magnitudes of floods will increase as a result of climate change. The study analyzed the factors affecting adoption of flood risk information within communities of the Okavango Delta, Botswana. The specific objectives of the study were to: 1) analyse the perception of local communities towards floods, flood risks and messages disseminated during flood risk communication; and 2) determine communities’ preferred sources and channels of communicating flood risks. Employing a 3-stage sampling procedure, the study (guided by the risk perception and trust determination models) used a sample of 95 respondents from Nxamasere village. The findings show that the respondents’ perception of flood risks and messages is high; that they have a neutral stance on message timing; and do trust the information sources. The results suggested that the community was aware of the floods and their associated risks and trusted the risk communicators, albeit concerns on message timing and exaggerated early warnings that raise false alarms. Recommendations for policy and practice on risk communication are offered.

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