Draft Climate Change Plan
Key Climate Hazards
The figure below shows projected changes in annual average temperatures, highlighting increasing temperatures throughout the district for the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. By 2050, the district is projected to be affected by higher annual average temperatures, which will adversely affect water and food security. Evaporation rates will also likely increase and agricultural outputs may reduce.
Increasing rainfall variability
The figure below shows projected shifts in annual average rainfall throughout the district between 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Annual average rainfall amounts vary across the district. There is uncertainty regarding projected future rainfall.
Increasing storms and flooding events
The figure below shows projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout the district over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario. Increases in the number of rainfall days are likely to result in an increase in intense storms, and flooding events across the district.
The current delineation of biomes is depicted in the figure below, with the predicted shift in biomes shown in the following figure based on a high-risk scenario. The biomes have varying sensitivities to the projected impacts of climate change which are further exacerbated by issues such as the fragmentation of natural areas and unsustainable water usage rates.
Climate Change Vulnerability
A climate change vulnerability assessment is a way of identifying and prioritising impacts from climate change. The IPCC defines vulnerability as:
"Vulnerability to climate change is the degree to which geophysical, biological and socio-economic systems are susceptible to, and unable to cope with, adverse impacts of climate change"
Summary of Climate Change Response Plan
A vulnerability assessment lets you identify these adverse impacts of climate change that are most important to your area. The climate change vulnerability assessment process that is used in this toolkit identified the following indicators in the table below.
Adaptive Capacity Comment
|Agriculture||Change in grain (maize, wheat & barley) production||Yes||Some of the most productive maize yielding areas in the province. Maize is commonly grown, in all local municipalities.||High||Maize is a significant commercial crop in the District and contributes to the economy, employment, and livelihoods||Low||An EMZ has been identified for Agriculture in the uMzinyathi EMF that identifies areas of high agricultural potential. The DAEA has invested in maize irrigation projects in the District including the Umvoti- Maize Cultivar Breeding. Financial support is is however required especially for subsistence farmers.|
|Agriculture||Change in Soya Bean Production||Yes||Commonly grown in Endumeni and Umvoti Local Municipalities||High||Soya is grown commercially in the District. Soybeans are planted in rotation with maize. |
Soya is also more heat tolerant.
|Low||An EMZ has been identified for Agriculture in the EMF that identifies areas of high agricultural potential. KZN Dept of Agriculture is assisting small scale farmers through the Agricultural mechanization programme.|
|Agriculture||Increased risks to livestock||Yes||Commercial cattle farming in the north of the District. Small scale sheep farming. Beef is commonly farmed in all Local Municipalities. Pigs are commonly farmed in Umvoti LM, goats in Msinga LM and dairy cows in Endumeni LM.||High||The District has extensive beef farms and abundant livestock kept by rural households. Nguni cows and goats are very adaptive to difficult conditions.Traditional areas are facing greatest challenges.||Low||An EMZ has been identified for Agriculture in the EMF that identifies areas of high agricultural potential. KZN Dept of Agriculture is assisting small scale farmers through the Nquthu wool sheep farming project. DAEA is implementing livestock Intervention Programmes.|
|Biodiversity and Environment||Loss of High Priority Biomes||Yes||The majority of the District is covered by the Grassland Biome which is under threat due to climate change. It is predicted that the grassland will be replaced by savanna.||High||A significant amount of the grassland biome will be lost in the medium risk scenario with all the grassland biome lost to savanna in the high risk scenario.||Low||An EMZ has been identified for terrestrial biodiversity in the EMF and a Biodiversity Sector Plan has been developed for Umzinyathi District. Finance has been provided by KZN EDTEA to develop an EMF for the District, and an EMF monitoring tool development is underway.|
No environmental units across the whole district and family of municipalities.
Environmental functions shared between planning,community services,technical disaster services and finance units.
Overgrazing and land degradation as well as drought are great threats.
Need for robust education and awareness of the local community.
|Human Health||Increased vector borne diseases from spread of mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, and blackflies||Yes||UMzinyathi District is a rural dominated municipality. Ticks and sandflies are more prone in the rural dominated municipalities.||High||Not near a malaria area but already experiencing tick and sandfly related diseases.||Low||Consult Department of Agriculture and Environmental Health to provide more information on current capacity.|
|Human Health||Increased water borne and communicable diseases (e.g. typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis)||Yes||These diseases have been reported and as they are linked to increases in air and water temperature, may become more common in the District.||High||These diseases have been reported.||Low||The District needs more health practitioners.|
Localise the environmental practitioners to the local municipalities. Environmental Health to develop an action plan with areas affected with waterborne and communicable diseases
|Human Health||Increased malnutrition and hunger as a result of food insecurity||Yes||Food security may be affected due to climate change if crops grown are no longer suitable in the altered climate.||High||8.7 incidences per 1000 children (District Health Barometer 2015/16 Health Systems Trust).||Low||KZN Department of Agriculture provides some support to small scale farmers and DAEA has implemented some Intervention Programmes|
|Human Health||Increased air pollution||Yes||The air quality across most of the District is relatively good. Indoor air pollution is however a problem due to a large number of households without access to electricity and reliance on coal, wood and paraffin.||High||Increased mining activities in the district.|
Harmful emissions in the rural areas because of the lack of electricity and reliance on coal, wood and paraffin.
|Low||Eskom and private companies should develop alternative energy sources.|
Indigenous trees to be planted to absorb carbon dioxide.
Future developments should be away from mining activities.
|Human Health||Increased Occupational health problems||Yes||A large percentage of households (45.5%) are involved in agricultural activities, at a commercial or subsistence level and will be susceptible to increases in temperatures when working outdoors. These people are also exposed to harmful agricultural chemicals.||High||Large number of people work in agricultural sector, commercially or at a subsistence level. Agriculture is the second highest employer in the District. The District also employs a large number of people in the coal mines.||Low||Unsure of capacity to deal with occupational health problems. Environmental Health has a minimum role to play regarding agricultural activities which involve well established farmers but is involved with farming practices at a small community level|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased impacts on strategic infrastructure||Yes||The R33 is the backbone of the road transport system of the district which is in a poor condition and dangerous in some parts. Key bridges occur over the Tugela and Mooi Rivers.||High||The transportation network is crucial for the transportation of goods and people. Flooding may damage key bridges such as those over the Tugela and Mooi Rivers.The R33 is the backbone of the road transport system of the district which is in a poor condition and dangerous in some parts. The railway line in Endumeni is aged and the passenger rail only passes the rail stations that were once active.||Low||A Rural Road Asset Management System programme is being developed in the district, through grant funding from the Department of Transport.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased impacts on traditional and informal dwellings||Yes||Informal dwellings mostly found in the two local municipalities that have major economic centres, Endumeni Local Municipality, and Umvoti Local Municipality. |
Large numbers of Traditional dwellings found in Nquthu and Msinga local municipalities.
|High||According to 2011 Census Data only 2.36% of households live in informal dwellings. However, 42.80% of households live in traditional dwellings. The combined Percentage of Households that are Traditional and Informal Dwelling is 45.16%.||Low||Disaster risk assessment for the district municipal area has been completed and disaster risk maps developed which have taken into account some of the climate related risks such as floods and drought.|
|Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Disaster Management||Increased isolation of rural communities||Yes||The District has large rural populations that reside in rural traditional areas, especially in Nquthu and Msinga local municipalities. The rural areas experience poor or no road infrastructure, limiting access for the population to services.|
Endumeni's CPA (Land reform farms) the LM cannot render services to such farms (land tenure-private properties).
|High||The District is predominantly rural with poor quality road and transport infrastructure||Low||Poor road infrastructure currently isolates rural dwellers from accessing services and will worsen with climate change.|
|Water||Less water available for irrigation and drinking||Yes||In 2014/15 there were many cases of extreme water scarcity that were reported by areas in all four local municipalities.|
Worst affected by drought in 2015.
|High||Drought experienced in 2014/15||Low||The District has mapped areas most at risk of drought. An amount of R48,520,224.00 has been made available to the municipality by the Department of Water and Sanitation for drought relief programme.|
Drilling of boreholes to address drought.
Transfer schemes from the catchment areas.
Water quality could be a concern due to boreholes.
Limited funding to address the issue of drought.
Water being provided by water tankers for the community.
|Water||Increased impacts of flooding from litter blocking storm water and sewer systems||Yes||An increase in flash floods could result in the blocking of sanitation systems in the urban areas and pollution of rivers in the rural areas as the majority of residents in the district are not provided with adequate waste removal services.||High||14.05% of households do not have access to any form of refuse disposal, and more than 65% make use of their own refuse dumps.||Low||District is in the process of developing two regional waste sites. Limited capacity and funds to upgrade stormwater infrastructure. The majority of residents in the district are not provided with adequate waste removal services. |
Endumeni landfill site is operational.
Umvoti landfill site to be operational in the new financial year.
Awareness campaigns to avoid littering.
Development of the IWMP in the Local and District Municipalities.
The CSIR Greenbook has also developed and refined a vulnerability assessment framework by collating relevant data into composite vulnerability indicators. Four local municipality level vulnerability indices were computed and are shown spatially below.
Social inequalities are the factors that affect the susceptibility and coping mechanisms of communities and households. Indicators for social vulnerability attempt to consider the sensitivity, response and recovery from the impacts of natural hazards. The CSIR Green Book has developed a socio-economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the Socio-Economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Environmental vulnerability describes the vulnerability and risk to the natural environment and the impacts on the ecological infrastructure of which surrounding settlements are dependent. The environmental risk of an area includes ecosystems, habitats, physical and biological processes (reproduction, diversity, energy ﬂows, etc). The CSIR Green Book has developed an Environmental Vulnerability Index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the environmental vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Physical vulnerability describes the physical fabric and connectedness of settlements (buildings and infrastructure) and focuses mainly on the conditions that exist before a hazard occurs and the expected level of resulting loss. The CSIR Green Book has developed a physical vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the physical vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
Economic vulnerability describes the potential risks posed by hazards on economic assets and processes. Potential hazards can include job losses, increased poverty and interruptions in business activities. The CSIR Green Book has developed an economic vulnerability index that is measured on a scale from 1 (low vulnerability) to 10 (high vulnerability). The map below shows the economic vulnerability score of each municipality in the district visually.
- CSIR. 2019. ‘Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change’. Green Book | Adapting South African Settlements to Climate Change. 2019. www.greenbook.co.za.
- Le Roux, A, E van Huyssteen, K Arnold, and C Ludick. 2019. ‘The Vulnerabilities of South Africa’s Settlements’. Green Book. 2019. https://pta-gis-2-web1.csir.co.za/portal/apps/GBCascade/index.html?appid=280ff54e54c145a5a765f736ac5e68f8.
SANParks. 2011a. ‘CCAB - Current Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/484
SANParks. 2011b. ‘CCAB - High Risk Scenarios - Biome Delineations 2011 [Vector Geospatial Dataset]’. Available from the Biodiversity GIS website. http://bgis.sanbi.org/SpatialDataset/Detail/486.