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Flood vulnerability assessment of donstream area in Mono basin in Yoto district, south-eastern Togo

par Abravi Essenam KISSI
University of Lome - Master 2014

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This chapter presents the conclusions, and policy recommendation, of the current study and areas for further study based on the discussion of results presented in Chapters 4. This study was conducted in the district of Yoto, South-eastern Togo, in three counties: Sedome, Esse-godjin and Tokpli. The study covered the villages of Mawussou, Djrekpon, Batoe, Tofacope, Atikpatafo, Logokpo, Tchakponou-kondji and Kpodji. The main objective of the study was to analyse the long term trend of rainfall and river discharge series for the study area, to identify the determinant of communities' vulnerability to flood disasters and to compute flood vulnerability index in order to easily understand and compare the vulnerability of the different villages.

The data analysis results suggested the evidence of change in precipitation and in the river discharge which may be the major contributing factor of vulnerability to flood hazards. The increase of river discharge over the years calls up the need to describe flood hazards by computing the return period of the different intensities recorded over the record period of 1971-2010 and especially for 2010 flood which was exceptional in the targeted area and in the whole country. Flood disasters in the target area is not only due to the increase of precipitation and river discharge, but also to the interaction between human and the environment; the vulnerability analysis reveals that the communities' vulnerability to flood in the targeted area may mostly be caused by lack of coping mechanisms, the insufficient emergency response or service during and after floods from public and private institutions, the closeness of households' farmlands and settlements to the river body, lack of diversification of livelihood strategies, poor building materials, low education level etc...

The computation of Flood Vulnerability Index (FVI) suggests that communities' vulnerability to flood can be reflected by the three factors (exposure, susceptibility and resilience). The FVI offers easy comprehensive results, with the use of a composite values to characterise high, moderate and low vulnerability communities. It is found that out of the eight surveyed village, two were highly vulnerable (Djrekpon and Kpodji); Four were moderately vulnerable (Batoe, Atikpatafo, Logokpo and Tchakponou-kondji) while two were least vulnerable (Mawusssou and Tofacope).

To alleviate the vulnerability of those surveyed villages, the study recommends some prior actions that can be taken to prevent homes and communities from the damage caused by flooding. Based on the current research, it is recommended to build awareness, preparedness and knowledge of communities about the importance of flood risk management and particularly, what actions should be taken as preparation and coping mechanisms. It recommends to educate the populations in risk reduction by putting in a place local flood management committee in order to enable preparation of community action plans that explain what to do in flood case. The study recommends putting in place a good early warning system, that local and regional weather information can use to sensitize about flooding. Regarding advance warning, it is suggested to associate the public and private media in the diffusion of the alerts related to the seasonal forecasting of flood hazards, to install sign posts marking possible flooding levels in the community and educate people about warning signs of floods in order to limit the impacts of flood in the communities prone to flood disasters.

This study is an attempt to assess communities' vulnerability to flood in the Yoto district. For timing and limited funding purposes, it was difficult to expand the area of assessment beyond the eight selected villages. The results may not be totally extrapolated for the whole district as each community has its own conditions. Since the methodology is based on indicators, its main weakness is the accuracy of data to compute the equation. The results of Flood vulnerability index in this study depend in majority on information from communities. Some information was derived from sources that can be considered as non-reliable, for example the village distance of contact with a river, which was taken from Google Earth, by computing the distance using the ruler tool in the software. For the results to be valid, all data must be derived from other reliable sources.

Based on the present study, there is clearly a need for more research into communities resilience, and adaptive options to the flood hazard, particularly communities traditional knowledge and perceptions, experiences and historical processes used to mitigate floods. Also, the aspect of communities' behavioural response toward flood awareness especially household private decisions in flood risk management should be investigated. It is also recommended to conduct local risk assessment for building and agriculture croplands using the engaging technique of flood-depth-analysis to work out the structural and agricultural vulnerability that different levels of flood water could bring.

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