USP Theses Collection


close this section of the library Emergency management -- Solomon Islands -- Honiara -- Statistics

View the PDF document Spatial analysis of informal settlement growth and disaster management preparedness : a case study in Honiara city, Solomon islands
Author: Reuben, Reginald
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.Sc.
Subject: Squatter settlements -- Solomon Islands -- Honiara -- Statistics, Emergency management -- Solomon Islands -- Honiara -- Statistics
Date: 2013
Call No.: Pac HD 7287 .96 .F5 R48 2013
BRN: 1193065
Copyright:20-40% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: In the Solomon Islands, natural hazards have their greatest impact at local level, especially on the lives of vulnerable people. Current natural hazards are exacerbated by climate change posing a greater potential for disasters in the future. This study has two goals: 1) it assesses the growth of informal settlements for 1984, 2003 and 2010 in relation to hazard areas, and 2) it examines the accessibility of the existing temporary evacuation facilities that would be used in the event of a disaster in Honiara City. The application of Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing are used to achieve the study’s goals. Visual image interpretation is used to delineate and digitize informal settlements and buildings. Evacuation center service areas and GIS census data are used to assess the effectiveness of existing evacuation facilities and the composition of urban population vulnerable in the event of natural and climate change related disaster. The study shows that informal settlements are growing, as well as expanding onto locations easily affected by natural and climate change related hazards. From 71 ha in 1984, the areas taken up by informal settlement has increased to 333 ha in 2003 and 721 ha in 2010. GIS network analysis (service area) shows areas served by the existing evacuation facilities. In a spatial analysis perspective, the existing evacuation facilities are ineffective to meet the needs of vulnerable urban population in the event of a natural and climate change related hazards. There are informal settlement areas on hazard zones which are under-served by the existing evacuation facilities. Expansion of informal settlements onto hazardous areas, such as low-lying areas, floodplains, areas susceptible to liquefaction and steep slopes have also increased since 1984. For example, area taken up by informal settlements on floodplains has increased from 5 ha in 1984 to 46 ha in 2003 and 131 ha in 2010. Growth of informal settlements onto weak sediments (recently deposited sediments) areas has also increased from 67 ha in 1984 to 311 ha in 2003 and 806 ha in 2010. In a similar context, the number of houses built in areas susceptible to natural and climate change related hazards has increased. For instance, the number of houses built on low-lying area has increased from 113 houses in 1984 to 802 and 1278 houses in 2003 and 2010. On flood plain, the number of houses has increased from 36 houses in 1984 to 484 and 834 houses in 2003 and 2010. On recently deposited sediments (weak iv sediments), the number of houses has increased from 427 houses in 1984 to 2342 and 3462 houses in 2003 and 2010. Service area analysis shows ‘served’ and ‘under-served’ areas in Honiara City. This analysis indicates that informal settlements within the White River areas, Fishing Village and within Burns creek and Lungga informal settlements are outside the evacuation service areas. People living in these areas are ‘under-served’ in the event of natural and climate change related disasters. Existing evacuation facilities are not effective as accessing the facilities from under-served areas require more time. Facility 2 is not suitable for tsunami and storm surge making accessibility impossible for people living in west Honiara during these events. GIS census analysis shows the percentage of age groups and gender that are adequately served by the existing service areas. More than 30 percent of the population within each evacuation facility’s service area is children below 14 years of age and 3 percent are older people above 60 years of age. Female makes up about 46 percent of the gender in each evacuation facility’s service area. There are more people living within Facility 1 service area followed by Facility 2 and Facility 3. About 9 percent of the total population in the study area is under-served. Additional evacuation facilities are needed to serve under-served areas at risk to natural and climate change related hazards. The applications of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in urban growth mapping and facility service area analysis provide information needed to support decision making needed to minimize the impacts of natural and climate change related hazards. The outputs of this study will enable Honiara City planners, Honiara City Council, civic authorities, Guadalcanal Province and the National Government to ensure a sustainable urban growth in the face of increasing frequency and intensity of natural and climate change related hazards. In addition, the output of the study provides a basis for developing a strategic evacuation plan for disaster risk management for Honiara City. There are limitations in this study that need to be addressed to improve disaster management preparedness in Honiara City.
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