Flood Exposure and Social Vulnerability Analysis in Rural Areas of Developing Countries: An Empirical Study of Charsadda District, Pakistan

Abdur Rahim Hamidi, Li Jing, Muhammad Shahab, Kamran Azam, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq, Anne W.M. Ng

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Abstract

In recent years, social vulnerability has gained much importance in academic studies. However, social indices are rarely combined and validated with exposure and resilience components. This study provides an integrated analysis of the flood exposure and social vulnerability of rural households in a case area of Charsadda District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. A conceptual framework was designed (based on the MOVE framework) as a guideline and key indicators were identified. For the exposure component, parameters such as elevation, flooded locations, and distance from the river were endorsed to understand flood mechanisms. For populating socioeconomic variables, questionnaire-based interviews were conducted with 210 households. The results were presented through ArcGIS-generated maps. The most significant indicators interplaying with high vulnerability were exposure-related indicators. The findings showed that the southern areas, including Agra, Daulat Pura, and Hisar Yasinzai were highly vulnerable due to having the highest number of flood locations, lowest elevations, and shortest distances from rivers, as well as larger household sizes, more elderly, children and women, illiteracy rates, and weak financial capacity. Understanding such dominant indicators and areas where high social vulnerability and high exposure converge can inform the authorities in mitigating both social and physical flood vulnerability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1176
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Volume14
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

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