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Natural Hazards

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 199–216 | Cite as

A Landslide Hazard Assessment and Vulnerability Appraisal Procedure: Vunguvungu/Banga Catchment, Northern Malawi

  • G. G. Msilimba
  • P. J. Holmes
Article

Abstract

Landslides are a common phenomenon in parts of Malawi. A number of historical landslides have been documented, and are summarised here. This paper examines the occurrence of landslides in the Rumphi district of northern Malawi, concentrating on the catchment of the Vunguvungu and Banga rivers. This is an area of deeply weathered biotitic gneiss and muscovite schist, with deep, sandy soils, comparatively steep slopes and a rainfall in excess of 1,500 mm per annum. These factors, in association with changing land use patterns, have contributed to the landslide vulnerability of the area. The investigation focuses, as a case study, on the Banga landslide of 1997 for which data are available, and which occurred after unseasonal rain. A unique combination of natural and human induced factors is proposed in explaining the occurrence of landslides. The paper concludes by proposing an elementary vulnerability appraisal procedure for the catchment and by discussing the potential risk of landslides in this area.

Keywords

hazard landslide Malawi slopes vulnerability appraisal catchment 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Chancellor CollegeUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi
  2. 2.Department of Chancellor CollegeUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

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