Impacts of Floods on Agriculture-Dependent Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Assessment from Multiple Geo-Ecological Zones

Roland Azibo Balgah, Kester Azibo Ngwa, Gertrud Rosa Buchenrieder, Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Surging extreme events, particularly floods, have stimulated growing research on their epidemiology, management, and effects on livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), especially for agriculture-dependent households. Unfortunately, the topical literature is still characterized by independent, isolated cases, with limited relevance to understanding common flood effects across geographical space and time. We bridge this knowledge gap by analyzing the effects of multiple cases of flash, coastal and riverine-cum-pluvial (‘complex’) floods on agriculture-dependent livelihoods in three (Sudano Sahelian, Coastal and Western Highlands) geo-ecological zones in Cameroon. The analysis makes use of a sample of 2134 flood victims (1000 of them in the Sudano-Sahelian, 242 in the Coastal, and 892 in the Western Highlands zones) of 26 independent community floods: 11 in the Sudano-Sahelian, 3 in the Coastal, and 12 in the Western Highlands zone. Irrespective of flood type and geo-ecology, agriculture-dependent livelihoods were gravely impaired. However, the impacts on livelihoods and public goods (such as road or communication systems) significantly varied in the different geo-ecological zones. The study concludes with the need to include context-specificity in the flood impact assessment equation, while identifying common effects, as is the case with agriculture in this study. We emphasize the need to up-scale and comparatively analyze flood effects across space and time to better inform flood management policies across SSA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number334
JournalLand
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • agriculture-dependent livelihoods
  • floods
  • geo-ecological zones
  • impacts
  • sub-Saharan Africa

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