Draft Climate Change Plan

The table below provides a list of drafted climate change plan documents that are available for download for the uMzinyathi District Municipality.
File Name
Year
Size (MB)
Type
Download
uMzinyathi Climate Change Response Plan Final20174,849PDFDownload
uMzinyathi Climate Change Response Plan Presentation20172,549PDFDownload

Key Climate Hazards

Increasing temperatures

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.

Figure: Projected changes in annual average temperatures throughout uMzinyathi over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario (CSIR 2019)

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.

Figure: Projected changes in annual average rainfall throughout uMzinyathi over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario (CSIR 2019)

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.

Figure: Projected changes in the annual average number of extreme rainfall days throughout uMzinyathi over the period 2021-2050 under the RCP 8.5 scenario (CSIR 2019)

Changing Biomes

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.

Figure: The current delineation of biomes in uMzinyathi (SANParks 2011a)
Figure: The predicted shift in biomes in uMzinyathi using a high-risk scenario (SANParks 2011b)

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.

Theme
Indicator Title
Exposure
Exposure Comment
Sensitivity
Sensitivity Comment
Adaptive Capacity
Adaptive Capacity Comment
AgricultureChange in grain (maize, wheat & barley) productionYesSome of the most productive maize yielding areas in the province. Maize is commonly grown, in all local municipalities.HighMaize is a significant commercial crop in the District and contributes to the economy, employment, and livelihoodsLowAn 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.
AgricultureChange in Soya Bean ProductionYesCommonly grown in Endumeni and Umvoti Local MunicipalitiesHighSoya is grown commercially in the District. Soybeans are planted in rotation with maize.
Soya is also more heat tolerant.
LowAn 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.
AgricultureIncreased risks to livestockYesCommercial 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.HighThe 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.LowAn 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 EnvironmentLoss of High Priority BiomesYesThe 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.HighA 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.LowAn 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 HealthIncreased vector borne diseases from spread of mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, and blackfliesYesUMzinyathi District is a rural dominated municipality. Ticks and sandflies are more prone in the rural dominated municipalities.HighNot near a malaria area but already experiencing tick and sandfly related diseases.LowConsult Department of Agriculture and Environmental Health to provide more information on current capacity.
Human HealthIncreased water borne and communicable diseases (e.g. typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis)YesThese diseases have been reported and as they are linked to increases in air and water temperature, may become more common in the District.HighThese diseases have been reported.LowThe 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 HealthIncreased malnutrition and hunger as a result of food insecurityYesFood security may be affected due to climate change if crops grown are no longer suitable in the altered climate.High8.7 incidences per 1000 children (District Health Barometer 2015/16 Health Systems Trust).LowKZN Department of Agriculture provides some support to small scale farmers and DAEA has implemented some Intervention Programmes
Human HealthIncreased air pollutionYesThe 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.HighIncreased mining activities in the district.
Harmful emissions in the rural areas because of the lack of electricity and reliance on coal, wood and paraffin.
LowEskom 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 HealthIncreased Occupational health problemsYesA 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.HighLarge 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.LowUnsure 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 ManagementIncreased impacts on strategic infrastructureYesThe 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.HighThe 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.
LowA 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 ManagementIncreased impacts on traditional and informal dwellingsYesInformal 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.
HighAccording 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%.LowDisaster 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 ManagementIncreased isolation of rural communitiesYesThe 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).
HighThe District is predominantly rural with poor quality road and transport infrastructureLowPoor road infrastructure currently isolates rural dwellers from accessing services and will worsen with climate change.
WaterLess water available for irrigation and drinkingYesIn 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.
HighDrought experienced in 2014/15LowThe 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.
WaterIncreased impacts of flooding from litter blocking storm water and sewer systemsYesAn 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.High14.05% of households do not have access to any form of refuse disposal, and more than 65% make use of their own refuse dumps.LowDistrict 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.

Socio-Economic Vulnerability

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.

Figure: Socio-economic vulnerability per local municipality in uMzinyathi (Le Roux, van Huyssteen, et al. 2019)

Environmental Vulnerability

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.

Figure: Environmental vulnerability per local municipality in uMzinyathi (Le Roux, van Huyssteen, et al. 2019)

Physical Vulnerability

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.

Figure: Physical vulnerability per local municipality in uMzinyathi (Le Roux, van Huyssteen, et al. 2019)

Economic Vulnerability

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.

Figure: Economic vulnerability per local municipality in uMzinyathi (Le Roux, van Huyssteen, et al. 2019)

References