A spatial multi-risk hazard assessment and vulnerability study of Madibeng [Northwest Province]
A new act on Disaster Management has been introduced in South Africa that will shift the focus of Disaster Management to a pro-active approach. The new Disaster Management Act, Act number 57 of 2002, states that all Municipalities should provide for: “An integrated and co-ordinated disaster management policy that focuses on preventing or reducing the risk of disasters, mitigating the severity of disasters, emergency preparedness, rapid and effective response to disasters and post disaster recovery”. Because of this it is important to identify areas that are at risk of any disaster and to introduce mitigating measures to ensure that any foreseeable impacts on the community are limited as much as possible. It is thus important that a disaster risk assessment must be performed for every Municipality that can be used in the planning process. A great deal of information needs to be gathered and analysed in the risk and vulnerability assessment process. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provides the ideal platform from which to analyse large quantities of environmental, demographic, cadastral and infrastructural data and represent it spatially and in a format that is easily understandable to everyone. GIS has proven to be a very important tool in disaster management, from identifying hazards and vulnerable communities, to providing information during disaster events and the recovery process afterwards. It is also a very effective method of gathering and storing data from different fields and applications to be used for planning mitigating measures, setting up standard operating procedures for disaster events and coordination and planning in the event of a disaster. The purpose of this study was to gather all available information on identified hazards in the Madibeng Municipality and to use this information to perform a risk and vulnerability assessment of the Madibeng Local Municipality with the aid of GIS. The information provided in this study was intended to assist in building a disaster resistant community by sharing geographic knowledge about local hazards. This study provides information to the Municipality of Madibeng on hazards and people at risk and vulnerable to different hazards. Recommendations were then made to the Madibeng Municipality on the application of GIS in hazard and vulnerability assessments, that should provide the Municipality with a cost effective and scientific method of addressing Disaster Management related functions.