Spatial analysis of elements at risk and household vulnerability to landslide hazards on Mt. Elgon, Uganda

Landslide hazards have in the last 10 years become more prominent on the Mt. Elgon ecosystem in Uganda often culminating into disasters. In this study, the community was assessed on their vulnerability to landslide hazards and the efficacy of existing institutional mechanisms with a view of improving resilience and disaster risk reduction. The study area was selected based on historical information of landslide occurrence from Manafwa District Disaster Management Committee during site reconnaissance. Household interviews were conducted on 255 respondents using a pretested questionnaire to capture the community perceptions and elicit data on some vulnerability. The household interviews were enriched with Focused Group Discussions (FGDs) and Key Informant Interview guide. Also information on elements at risk to landslides in the catchment was captured and mapped out using GIS techniques and a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. Vulnerability to landslides was determined by considering the combined results of the thirteen weighted indicators and five weighting scores. Results revealed that the communities in the study area are highly vulnerable to landslide hazards (95%). Landslide hotspots are largely found on slopes: (45%) steep slope, medium slope (30%) and low lying (23%), and this was categorized into; low, moderate and high. Within the landslide hot spots, the major elements at risk to landslides was; agricultural land (36%), houses (22%), population (20%), livestock (13%) and infrastructure (9%). There were 6 households, 19 households and 91 households within very high, high and moderate hazard zones respectively.

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