Original Research

Estimating damage costs of flooding on small- and medium-sized enterprises in Kigali, Rwanda

Aime Tsinda, Christian Kind, Janto S. Hess, Roger Mugisha, Alfred R. Bizoza
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 11, No 1 | a755 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v11i1.755 | © 2019 Aime Tsinda, Christian Kind, Janto S. Hess, Roger Mugisha, Alfred R. Bizoza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 September 2018 | Published: 18 September 2019

About the author(s)

Aime Tsinda, College of Education, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda
Christian Kind, Adelphi, Berlin, Germany
Janto S. Hess, Adelphi, Berlin, Germany
Roger Mugisha, Institute of Policy Analysis and Research, Kigali, Rwanda
Alfred R. Bizoza, College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Rwanda, Kigali, Rwanda


In the past, Kigali has frequently experienced heavy rain events. These have often led to flooding, which also affected businesses. In the face of climate change, such events can become more frequent and can threaten economic development. To determine if more action is needed to protect businesses from flooding, we assessed how many businesses have suffered damages from floods in certain years in a certain area of Kigali. We also gathered information on how businesses were affected, how they are preparing for flooding and what support they are seeking. We developed and piloted a survey, a standardised questionnaire for gathering information on the relevance of flooding for businesses. The survey was then conducted among 350 businesses in Kigali asking business owners about their experiences with flooding in recent years. Eighty-one per cent of businesses have been affected by floods in 2013 and 2014. The annual damage costs resemble 22% of the total net profit of the businesses in the area. The most common damages were damages to goods that were to be sold and damages to buildings. The extent of past flood damages warrants action on flood risk management, both by businesses and citizens, as well as by city officials. Suitable actions range from increasing awareness about suitable protection measures to upgrading the sewage system.


flooding; enterprises; climate change; damage costs; Kigali


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