Evaluating institutional capacity for landslide disaster risk reduction: a case study of Mount Elgon region, Uganda

Author: Sowedi, Masaba

Supervisors: David N. M.; Moses I. and Haroonah N.

Uganda is a high landslide disaster risk country that has put in place several risk reduction institutions. However, the capacity of formal institutions to achieve landslide disaster risk reduction in the Mount Elgon region had not been evaluated. The objectives of the study were to: examine the evolution of landslide disaster risk reduction institutions, assess implementation of landslide disaster risk reduction policy measures, and evaluate the governance system for landslide disaster risk reduction. The study adopted a mixed method approach. Primary data were collected from 300 households and 10 key informants drawn from the landslide disaster prone district of Bududa in Eastern Uganda. The survey households were selected using systematic random sampling while the key informants were selected purposively. Secondary data were collected through document review. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and correlations while content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. The study findings revealed that most of the landslide disaster risk reduction institutions were put in place during the post-1986 period. The evolution was largely influenced by both global and local level factors, including the international disaster risk governance regimes and increase in landslide disaster events. The study findings further revealed that afforestation (65%), and appropriate farming technologies and land use practices (89%) were the most implemented landslide disaster risk reduction policy measures while gazetting of landslide prone areas and prohibiting settlement in such risky areas, resettlement of people living in landslide prone areas, and enforcement of relevant laws and regulations were the least implemented. The study findings also revealed that landslide disaster risk governance had been decentralized, was predictable, transparent and participatory, but lacking in terms of accountability and credibility. The study concludes that landslide disaster risk reduction institutions in Uganda are still evolving, most of policy measures had not been implemented, the risk the governance system is poor, and the institutional capacity is low. The study recommends that gazetting of landslide prone areas and prohibiting settlement in such risky areas, resettlement of people living in landslide prone areas, and enforcement of relevant laws and regulations should implemented as key landslide disaster risk reduction policy measures. To enhance landslide disaster risk governance, accountability mechanisms should strengthened. Future research should focus on assessing the effectiveness of landslide early warning systems in the study area, and mapping institutions using Social Network Analysis to enable better resource allocation for landslide disaster risk reduction in Uganda.