our work

Disaster Risk Reduction and Geohazard Analysis

Umvoto has extensive experience in quantifying geohazards and their associated risks, both natural and man-made. These risk analyses and assessment services are sought by provincial, national and international clients, including the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations. Our risk reduction service supports the integrated disaster management planning (developing early warning systems and hazard monitoring) required by South Africa’s Disaster Management Act. Umvoto’s experience with geohazards includes seismic risk assessments for infrastructure such as pipelines and mine developments.

Umvoto has also compiled and run advanced probabilistic and deterministic risk simulation models. Our research has been shared with a number of United Nations international programmes for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Sustainable Development, as well as the Global Earth Observation Programme.

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Through involvement in climate change studies in 2011, Umvoto completed a study into sea level rise and flooding risks associated with climate change for vulnerable coastlines in the Western Cape, before developing a monitoring and evaluation system for the Western Cape Climate Change Response Strategy and Action Plan.

Umvoto’s founder Rowena Hay has prepared United Nations sanctioned guidelines for African community leaders to support environmental protection, poverty reduction and adaptation to climate change. In collaboration with Dr Chris Hartnady, she contributed to the UNEP guidelines on mainstream DRR for sustainable African development. Umvoto has also undertaken a Capacity Needs Assessment for Disaster Risk Management for the Kingdom of Lesotho and a Situational Analysis of DRR Policies and Practices in Malawi.
The team has authored a series of educational booklets for the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) on various aspects of DRR, such as gender, land use, poverty, water and environment, as well as prepared material to promote and support DRR in Namibian Schools. Umvoto has also consulted to several municipalities implementing the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level.


8 Beach Road

muizenberg, Cape town