Copying strategies to chronic floods in Kuku residential area in Lusaka district, Zambia: a hermeneutic phenomenology study.

Thumbnail Image
Bulambo, Catherine Whitness
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
Chronic flooding is one major annual disaster, whose effects have not been sparing the residents in Kuku, a low cost residential area in the urban District of Lusaka. It has been attributed by both natural and manmade factors such as the inability of the residential area to drain water, change of rainfall pattern, increase of built environment without sustainable drainages and poor garbage disposal with emphasis on the non-biodegradable materials. Incidentally, this study entails the captured raw lived experiences of chronic flood victims of the Kuku residential area of Lusaka district from a hermeneutic phenomenology approach study. It was entirely anchored from a qualitative methodology. Descriptive, Hermeneutic phenomenology and explorative research designs, snowball sampling method, unstructured interview guide, observation and a camera were used to generate data from the participants. With the use of a thematic analysis, the study exposed the effects of the flooding which are; victims are sometimes left homeless, affected with waterborne diseases, loss or disruption of welfare, loss of diversity of livelihoods and trauma. It also considered a magnitude of lived experiences from flood victims with three or more annual episodes of floods. The captured experiences and challenges among flood victims included; sleepless nights and fear to relocate, social conflicts, fear of junkies and negative effects of flooded potholes and dug trenches. Despite the severe effects of urban flooding, most resilient flood victims in Kuku have continued to inhabit the area due to the opportunities and limited options available to them and their socioeconomic status. The study reported that flood victims had over time developed copying strategies which help to adapt to conditions of the residential area. These include; the use of sandbags and pouring of sand to elevate the low lying Earth surface areas, dig trenches, build houses and toilets with a high elevation to prevent flood water from flowing through them. Some victims are left traumatized during and after the flooding. To this effect, most flood victims were against permanent relocation. The failure to refurbish dilapidated houses and lack of a reliable source of sustainable financial support system to help them relocate and live in nonprone area expedites the challenges experienced with flooding. Findings indicate that, overall, the raw lived experiences of the chronic flood victims are a reflection of their resilience, vulnerability of the urban low cost residential area to flooding ,the capability of their socioeconomic status to sustain themselves and poor planning of the built environment. The study also recommends that the victims and all kuku residents should holistically implement the following eco-friendly sustainable measures in order to reduce the effects of flooding; personal hygiene, construction of a recycling centre for non biodegradable domestic garbage within Kuku residential area, mobile dumpster, construction of an organic manure centre, environmental education to be embraced by the residents, inclusive area improvement and sensitization programs to be put in motion, provision of garbage collection services by the local authority, engaging proper engineers, increasing drainage systems and advocating and implementing the construction of flushable toilets with septic tanks.
Thesis of Master of Science in Geography