|dc.description.abstract||The concern that weather variability and climate change has raised nowadays puts every society or community on the alert. This is arguably the most persistent environmental threat to global stability in vulnerable communities in recent times. City dwellers are now experiencing increased variable weather episodes such as frequent flooding, heat waves and drought with increased wind and storm activities. Unfortunately, the aftermath of these weather irregularities are felt most severely by vulnerable urban poor residents with the least mechanisms to cope.
This study focused on the residents of Enkanini in Makhaza, an informal settlement in the greater Khayelitsha Township of Cape Town, South Africa. It documented the challenges they encounter with respect to weather, seeking to understand their adaptive strategies. Emphasis was also placed on the vulnerable nature of their dwellings and their ingenuity in coping with the variable weather pattern in Cape Town. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to analyse field data, using codes derived from themes and SPSS respectively. Ethnographic methodology guided the researcher to participate overtly in the activities of the community over an extended period, watching what happened, listening to what was said and asking questions pertaining to their vulnerability to the vicissitudes of the prevailing weather in the informal settlement. Findings from the study revealed that over 62% of the dwellings do not conform to the City‟s Disaster Risk Management Centre and Fire & Rescue safety regulations and that over 80% of the residents do not adapt very well to weather-related episodes. It also identifies the most challenging weather episodes to be floods during winter and shack fires during summer; amidst other health concerns that occur all year round.||en_US