Japan’s Alternative Model For A Cosmolocal Flooding Management: A Case Study From the 2020 Kyushu Floods in Kumamoto Prefecture

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Wanwalee Inpin
Maya Dania


Despite the current establishment of flood control dams, Kumamoto Prefecture on southern Kyushu Island was severely affected by record-breaking heavy torrential rain that triggered extreme risk flooding from the Kuma River Basin in early July 2020. This study aims to explain the failure of the existing flood control dams to cope with the increasing intensity of river flood risk and examine a social manufacturing strategy that the local Kumamoto community proposed to design an alternative flood control plan. To analyze the dynamic engagement of the local community movement in designing alternative flood control strategies, Max-Neef's human-scale development was integrated into Cosmolocalism (Cosmopolitan Localism), which highlights the importance of human needs, self-reliance and the interconnectedness of people and nature in reducing a global climate disaster risk in the specific local context of Japan. By applying a qualitative method analysis, this study conducted semi-structured field interviews using purposive sampling techniques with flood survivors in three main affected municipalities in the Kuma River Basin (Kuma Village, Hitoyoshi City, and Yatsushiro City). Primary data were also collected from the Kumamoto Municipality office and environmental Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) in Kumamoto. The result shows that the dam mechanism no longer satisfies the community's needs because the dams do not represent dynamic interactions between people and ecosystems in mitigating flood risks. This study highlights the alternative model of Ecosystem-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR) proposed by the local community in Kumamoto to transform the dam design of Basic Flood Control to the non-dam design of Basin Flood Control.

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Inpin, W., & Dania, M. (2024). Japan’s Alternative Model For A Cosmolocal Flooding Management: A Case Study From the 2020 Kyushu Floods in Kumamoto Prefecture. Political Science and Public Administration Journal, 15(1), 61–94. Retrieved from https://so05.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/polscicmujournal/article/view/265454
Research Article
Author Biography

Wanwalee Inpin, School of Social Innovation, Mae Fah Luang University





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