News & events


06 October 2023

Dr Wilfred Lunga on South Africa’s response to disasters

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The recent storms experienced in parts of South Africa have led to floods of significant proportions, leaving at least 11 people dead, hundreds displaced, damaged infrastructure and compromised electricity supply. The worst-hit provinces are the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KZN.

Dr Wilfred Lunga, Chief Research Specialist at the HSRC’s Developmental, Capable and Ethical State (DCES) research division recently spoke to Newzroom Afrika on how best South Africa can respond to disasters of this scale, highlighting the importance of working closely with those at risk in the communities worst affected.

“It’s not about waiting for institutions, but it’s about working with people who are most vulnerable and likely to be impacted by flooding,” he told Newzroom Afrika.

In 2022, Dr Lunga led a research report commissioned by the HSRC, titled ‘Strengthening disaster risk resilience through enhanced coordination mechanisms at local level in flood hazard prone areas: case study of KwaZulu-Natal province,’ which expounds on exactly these issues using KZN as a case study. The report can be accessed here.

Watch the interview:

The upcoming ‘Climate Change and Futures in Africa Conference Series: Towards Local Solutions to Early Warning and Disaster Risk Community (SADC) and beyond’ will focus on disaster risk reduction and management in light of climate change and its effect on extreme weather conditions. Taking place in Maputo, Mozambique over 8-10 November, the conference will bring local stakeholders, academia, researchers, practitioners and other key stakeholders together to gain new insights into sustainable disaster risk reduction and shared learning.

View further details and register for the conference here.

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Related Articles