Effects of Climate Change on Flood Risk and Sustainable Development in South Africa (PAP014716)
Peter Musula kundu, R. L. Singo, J. O. Odiyo, T. R. Nkuna
Impact of climate change on flood risk
Climate change poses a great risk to South Africa which has a dual agricultural economy. In the recent years, the country has experienced extreme weather events with floods resulting from higher than normal rainfall. The negative impacts manifest in infrastructure damage, disruption in the supply of agricultural products and damage to crops. In order to understand the dynamics involved in the effects of climate change, peak discharges for Luvuvhu River catchment were used to evaluate flood frequencies, based on flood events with a certain probability of occurrence or exceedance. Frequency distributions were used to describe historical characteristics and magnitudes of floods. Flood peaks corresponding to 2, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 200 years were estimated for flood prevention. The extreme value analysis showed that the Gumbel and Log Pearson type III distributions provided the best fit which could be used to derive the probability of occurrence of flood events. The results showed a general increase in the frequency of extreme rainfall events, accompanied by floods of higher magnitude for the small to medium floods.