Factors affecting flood-induced household vulnerability and health risks in Pakistan: The case of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province

Ashfaq Ahmad Shah, Jingzhong Ye, Rajib Shaw, Raza Ullah, Muhammad Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years the adverse impacts of climate change on the natural environment and the multiple threats it poses to human health, especially in the Global South, have become increasingly evident and these are likely to increase in the near future, with more people likely to be risk. This study investigates households' vulnerability to public health risks in disaster-prone areas of Pakistan. It uses a dataset of 600 households, based on structured questionnaire with household heads from two severely flood-affected districts (Nowshera and Charsadda) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Household vulnerability to flooding and related health problems are assessed through a logistic regression model. The results reveal that respondents' socio-economic and demographic attributes, such as age, gender, education, income, the materials out of which their house is constructed, past experience of floods and social networks are the key factors influencing their flood vulnerability. Households' health vulnerability is affected by their access to information and health facilities, their sanitary arrangements, distance from the main health facility and previous damage to water supply and health facilities from the flood in 2010. The findings suggest the need to overcome households' flood and health vulnerability through capacity building, training and sustainable mitigation efforts. At the governmental level, a comprehensive and realistic stakeholder analysis is needed to ensure the active involvement of all stakeholders, to generate their commitment and support and to identify what actions are most needed. Any actions to minimize household health risks will require an integrated, multi-sector, approach which would increase efficiency through pooling resources and skills.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101341
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan


  • Flood disaster
  • Health facilities
  • Health risks
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  • Pakistan
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research
  • Geology


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