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Assessing the relationship between poverty, vulnerability and natural disasters on urban informal settlements of developing countries: a case study of Quarry Road West informal settlement, Durban.

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The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between poverty, vulnerability and natural disasters in Quarry Road West informal settlement in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The informal settlement is located in Newlands East, near the Palmiet River, which overflows and results in flooding conditions in the settlement. The people from the settlement already live under poor and vulnerable conditions as they experience problems such as poverty, unemployment and informal housing structures, which makes this settlement the ideal study area for the research. Objectives of the study include exploring and investigating the impacts that floods have in this area, how the eThekwini municipality tries to minimize the impacts floods in the area, and what are the problems that the municipality encounters in trying to minimize the impacts of floods in Quarry Road West settlement. Qualitative research methods and due to the Corona virus (COVID 19), secondary data analysis was used to collect and analyse the secondary data. The results indicated that there is a direct relationship between poverty, vulnerability and floods in Quarry Road West informal settlement. Floods in this area resulted in deaths, collapsing housing structures, loss of possessions and most importantly, loss of land. All his resulted in the people being trapped in a cycle of poverty and vulnerability that is almost impossible, as the people struggle to respond and recover to floods properly. As the floods keep striking, more people are getting affected, which means more people are struggling to recover from floods. The municipality tries to assist the community, however there are many challenges still being faced. This indicates that more efforts are required from the municipality in order to improve resilience in the area.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.