The director of the Global Change Institute at Wits University professor Francois Engelbrecht says government needs to distinguish the difference between adaptation and mitigation in dealing with devastating floods such as the ones that recently occurred in KwaZulu-Natal.
Studies have shown that climate change made the floods deadly. Human-induced climate change has doubled the probability of such disasters.
The floods killed more than 400 people, displaced more than 40 000 others and destroyed more than 4000 houses.
Professor Engelbrecht says adaption is an admission of vulnerability.
“In the case of the KwaZulu-Natal floods, remember that we’ve been experiencing these events for as long as people have been living in the Durban area. Very, very similar floods occurred in 1856, 1987, 2019 and then again in April this year. So, there is evidence that climate change has now has in fact doubled the likelihood of these types of floods to occur in the Durban area.”
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