GIS based quantification and mapping of climate change vulnerability hotspots in Addis Ababa

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Background: Unlike the studies undertaken on agricultural and hydrological sectors, focused climate change vulnerability researches in urban centers in Ethiopia is not widely available and of recent history. However, as many signals of climate change vulnerability started to happen in urban centers as well, it is inevitable to analyze, quantify, map, prioritize and be prepared for adaptation measures. This study is therefore, tried to assess, quantify and map climate change vulnerability in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by integrating two climate change vulnerability assessment models, namely, the Sullivan and Meigh’s Model of composite climate change vulnerability index and the IPCC’s approach of vulnerability assessment which comprises exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. Fifteen sub-components of vulnerability indicators were identified in ten sub-cities (Addis Ketema, Arada, Akaki-Kality, Bole, Gulelle, Kirkos, Kolfe-Keraniyo, Lideta, Nifasilk-Lafto and Yeka) of Addis Ababa. Due to the scale, degree, amount and unit of measurement for the selected indicators varied, their values were normalized to a number which ranges between 0 and 1, indicating as the values increased to 1, vulnerability to climate change increases. The study uses Iyengar and Sudarshan’s unequal weighting system, to assign a weight to all indicators. The results were mapped using ArcGIS 10.2 package. Results: The results indicated that the ten sub-cities in Addis Ababa were found in different levels of vulnerability to climate change. The exposure and sensitivity were highest for Addis Ketema, Arada, and Lideta which are found in central parts of the city, with a normalization index value greater than 0.5. The adaptive capacity index is the highest in Gulelle, Bole, and Arada sub-cities. These sub-cities have better quality houses, well-planned districts, good infrastructural facilities and good coverage of green areas compared to others. The overall climate change vulnerability was the highest (normalized index > 0.5) in Arada, Addis Ketema and Lideta, due to the adaptation capacity is the lowest compared to other sub-cities. Conclusion: Addis Ababa is vulnerable to climate change impacts and the degree of vulnerability is underpinned by the interaction of multiple factors mainly adaptive capacities of sub-cities, location based characteristics and changes in climatic parameters. These present a need to strengthen mitigation and adaptation activities and prioritize sub cities for intervention based on the degree of vulnerability. It is also understood that the Sullivan and Meigh’s Model and IPCC’s approach for climate change analyses, could be used simultaneously for preparing vulnerability index per different geographical locations.




Feyissa, G., Zeleke, G., Gebremariam, E., & Bewket, W. (2018). GIS based quantification and mapping of climate change vulnerability hotspots in Addis Ababa. Geoenvironmental Disasters, 5(1).

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