Nguyen dinh khoa's assignment adaptation - the city of cape town


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Assessment impacts of climate change in the city of Cape Town, South Africa. And Proposing some adaptation measures.

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Nguyen dinh khoa's assignment adaptation - the city of cape town

  1. 1. centertop<br />Advisor: Dr. Dirk Heinrichs.<br />Student: Nguyen Dinh Khoa<br /><ul><li>STUDENTS EXERCISE ON ADAPTATION: CLIMATE CHANGE & ADAPTATION MEASURES IN THE CITY OF CAPE TOWN – SOUTH AFRICA.</li></ul>ABBREVIATION<br />CCT: The City Of Cape Town<br />GIS: Geographic Information Systems<br />UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change<br />COP: The Conference of the Parties <br />LDCF: The Least Developed Countries Fund <br />SCCF: The Special Climate Change Fund <br />The city of Cape Town (CCT) is one of the three largest cities in South Africa and known as the ‘World Class African City’ is located at the southern coastal of the country. The city has an urban and peri-urban population of near 3.9 million, a land area of 2,487 square kilometers, with a population density of 1,291 people per square kilometer. The Gross National Income for CCT is US$3,410 per capita. In recent year, CCT is facing the dual challenge of redressing the legacy apartheid (inequality and spatial segregation) and responding to climate change.<br />Already in CCT a significant number of disasters and events have been associated with weather conditions. These include the Cape Flats floods (1994 and 2001), the Manenberg wind storms (1999 and 2002), the South Peninsula fires (2000), the Joe Slovo informal settlement fires (2000, 2004, and 2005), cut-off low severe storms (2003, 2004, and 2005) and recurrent severe droughts (2002-2005). In March 2003 and April 2005, damage incurred by Western Cape Province as a result of floods exceeded US $30 million. In July 2009, it was reported that up to 20.000 residents of informal settlements were driven out of their waterlogged homes. A 2008 sea-level rise risk assessment conducted on behalf of CCT concluded that within the next 25 years there is a 85% chance that 60,9km² (2% of the Metro area) of the area in which we live will be covered by sea for a short period. The expected loss of property value is just under R20 billion. Other ways in which CCT is being and will be affected by climate change in all sectors, every location and every population.<br />Climate change may have a major impact on the future availability of, as well as requirements for water in the water management area. The Western Cape has recently experienced a drought, which can be attributed to climate variability. Climate variability is expected to alter the present hydrological resources in Southern Africa and add pressure on the adaptability of future water resources. During the past twenty years, most of Southern Africa has experienced extensive droughts, the last four being 1986-1988, 1991-1992, 2000-2001 and 2004-2005. Dam levels in the Western Cape were at their lowest levels in five years during 2005. This drought-induced shortage of water placed stress on the water supply and management in CCT.<br />In March 2003 and April 2005, CCT experienced damaging floods due to cut off lows, which cause heavy rainfall in a short period of time and gale force winds. The extent of the damage for the Western Cape Province during this period exceeded R260 million (Holloway, 2005). Furthermore, due to variations in the rainfall patterns, storm-water drains are prone to blockages. Sand from the Cape Flats is blown into the drains during the dry summer months and then obstructs the drainage of the rainwater during the rainy seasons (winter), and more specifically during times of unpredicted heavy storms and intense rainfalls. The intensity of rainfall in the Western Cape can be expected to change due to climate variability. An increase in the number of extreme events will cause substantial increases in the cost of losses to the public and private sectors, as well as increasing personal hardship for the people directly affected.<br />A range of hazards associated with climate change may affect the livelihoods of people living in the city. These range from the prospect of increasingly poor health which could result from increased air pollution, heat stress and the possibility of increased flooding. Economic sectors such as insurance, banks (through the underlying secured assets), transport and communication infrastructure and construction may all be affected to some degree by climate change.<br />According to A South African Country Study on Climate Change (2004), three key groups identified to be the most vulnerable to climate change impacts are people living along the coast, people living in informal settlements, and marginal groups living in rural areas. In the context of CCT, most the first people to suffer these consequences are the poor, who are usually constrained to live in risk-prone areas. Poor housing quality in informal settlements exacerbates this vulnerability, because these structures are easily destroyed during a flood event. In most cases, poor access to services leads to an inability to cope and recover from such an event. The lack of tarred roads increases flood vulnerability in informal settlements. Unpaved roads wash away, hindering access. Other related vulnerabilities include inadequate sewage and storm-water infrastructure, creating stagnant pools of foul water that are a source of disease. In CCT, many of the informal settlements are situated on the Cape Flats where the high water table and inadequate infrastructure make them particularly vulnerable to flooding. If there is flooding the dirt roads usually found in informal settlements may wash away which reduces access to areas; sewage and storm-water infrastructure may be poor, and stagnant pools of water can lead to disease outbreaks. The quality of housing in informal settlements is often poor and therefore easily washed away during floods, and people’s access to the range of services is more limited than that of people in formal housing areas, making them more vulnerable to the climate impacts.<br />CCT administers approximately 307 km of coastline, arguably its single greatest economic and social asset. Therefore, a rise in sea-level will increase the vulnerability of beaches, shorelines and coastal developments and infrastructure to storm surges and erosion. Particularly, a lot of migrants, poor people who are the most vulnerability, are living along coastal area with low living condition, poor infrastructure. They and their assets could be affected anytime. Global climate change predictions suggest that amongst others, sea level rise and an increase in the intensity and frequency of storm events may have significant impact on coastlines across the globe. CCT with its extensive coastline may be particularly vulnerable to these predicted changes.<br /> In October 2003, the City formally adopted a Coastal Zone Management Strategy with the intention of managing and safeguarding the coastal asset with affects of climate change. Some Adaptation measures:<br />Development of a coastal vulnerability map using geographic information systems (GIS) where sites are assessed according to scale of potential, impacts with respect to sea-level rise. A point rating system whereby the vulnerability of sites can be evaluated objectively should be Develop maintenance and monitoring programme for existing coastal infrastructure.<br />Develop maintenance and monitoring programme for existing coastal infrastructure.<br />Design coastal protection/developments/structures specifically to compensate for the effects of sea-level rise. There are a wide range of structural mitigation measures in place to minimize the impact of storm surges and extreme wave action. These include:<br /><ul><li>Breakwaters which provide shelter to boats/ships/vessels at fishing harbors and commercial ports such as CCT and Kalk Bay.
  2. 2. Revetments and sea walls which protect infrastructure such as housing, promenades, pavements, parking areas, etc.
  3. 3. In some instances, roads and railway lines have been located too close to the sea. Their embankments and foundations thus have to be protected by e.g. rock mountain at Clovelly, Hout Bay, etc.</li></ul>The Coastal Zone Management Strategy in its entirety however will be measured through the reporting to Council and publicly in the Annual State of the Environment Report. The annual Coastal Zone management Strategy report will be prepared and submitted to Council and will be made available to the public on request.<br />To establish a climate change adaptation research group that creates an ongoing collaboration, interface and dialogue between academic institutions, researchers, specialists and local government officials to inform, shape and drive the implementation of progressive, pragmatic and effective policies, programmes and on-the-ground interventions at the local level in understanding and preparing for climate change. Citizens also are encourage to participate by contribute their ideas, comments to the process. Through a participatory approach, local communities will identify and implement priority investments.<br />The finance for the adaptation measures is always a big issue particularly in case of developing countries. The Global Environment Facility ( is an independent financial entity and the financial mechanism for the international conventions on environment issues, like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Convention defines the mechanism for the provision of financial resources to developing countries. Financial resources for the implementation of the Convention are available through the GEF Trust Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and the Adaptation Fund (once the Kyoto Protocol enters into force). Funding is also available through bilateral, regional and multilateral channels.<br />In Conclusion, Implementations of adaptation measures, the local Government cannot and will not be able to solve the issues alone, they need the well cooperate with other stakeholders such as private sectors, NGOs. The National Adaptation Strategy needs to be revised to set the tone for provincial strategies that follow while at the same time the capacity of provincial and local governments need to be built to enable the integration of climate change adaptation into local development plans. Various resource users and interest groups need to participate in the development of climate change adaptation strategies particularly local academics, specialist, experts and citizens.<br />References:<br /><ul><li>Pierre Mukheibir, Gina Ziervogel .2006. Framework for Adaptation to Climate Change in the City of Cape Town.
  4. 4. Masego Madzwamuse. March 2010.Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Preparedness in South Africa.
  5. 5. Brundrit, G .2008. Global Climate Change and Adaptation – a sea-level rise risk assessment. Phase 1: Assessments of sea-level rise for the City of Cape Town
  6. 6. By CCT council. 2006. Coastal zone management strategy.