Salma Hegga is interdisciplinary researcher of environmental changes and disaster resilience with particular expertise and interest in human vulnerability to natural hazards, institutional mechanisms in disaster risk management, climate change vulnerability, adaptation and multi-level governance of adaptation, water governance, adaptation to extreme weather events and flood risk management approaches in Semi-Arid Regions and Coastal Environments of East and Southern Africa.
Salma has worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Climate Change Vulnerability, Adaptation and Governance in the ASSAR (Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions) project, in September 2014. As part of the fellowship, she is undertaking advanced research on vulnerability and adaptation in Semi-arid areas of Southern Africa. The research have a strong focus on livelihoods, well-being and governance within an adaptation context, and she is a part of a multi-disciplinary research group at UCT’s the African Climate & Development Initiative (ACDI), interacting with research teams from Southern Africa, West Africa, East Africa and India.
Prior to joining ACDI, Salma worked as a lecturer at the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) a Constituent College of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) coordinating courses in Climatology, Agricultural and Rural Settlement Planning, Introduction to Physical Geography, and Population Studies.
Salma has a B.A in Geography and Environmental Studies (University of Dar es Salaam), a M.A in Geography and Environmental Management (University of Dar es Salaam) and a PhD in Disaster Resilience (University of Southampton). Salma’s PhD research has focused on a multi-disciplinary approaches in understanding the motivating factors that lead residents of flood-prone areas, to prepare for flood events. The research used five approaches namely: stakeholder analyses; exposure analyses; vulnerability analyses; risk perception assessments; and social network analyses to investigate the process and drivers of preparation. Salma’s previous research has focused on community based management of natural resources and human vulnerability to natural hazards to inform management, institutional mechanisms, and policy regarding disaster risk reduction in African Context.