The purpose of the paper is to analyse how floods and droughts affect communities' livelihood in the middle Zambezi river basin and coping mechanisms which households apply to counter the impact of floods and droughts.
The method adopted was semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and semi-structured questionnaires.
Thematic analysis shows that the major issues affecting communities' livelihood in the middle Zambezi river basin are related to frequent floods and droughts. Floods are due to heavy seasonal rainfall which occurs at the peak of the rainfall season. As for droughts, the frequency of dry-spells of 20 days on average has been observed during the crop season. The impacts of floods and droughts in the district, notably in some wards such as Kanyemba, are the reduction of crop production, food shortages, reduction of agriculture derived income and erosion of social network. Households have responded to these impacts through a number of coping mechanisms including disposal of assets, labour migration, stream bank and floodplain cultivation, piecework, remittance, wild production and fishing. However, such coping mechanisms are short term and some of them are in conflict with the country's environmental laws.
This paper reports a study on the first such finding related to socioeconomic impact of floods and droughts on households located in the middle Zambezi valley which is 500 km from Harare with a specific focus on traditional coping strategies in the face of disasters.
The authors gratefully acknowledge WaterNet to sponsor this study through the integrated water resources management in the University of Zimbabwe.
Bola Bosongo, G., Ndembo Longo, J., Goldin, J. and Lukanda Muamba, V. (2014), "Socioeconomic impacts of floods and droughts in the middle Zambezi river basin: Case of Kanyemba", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 131-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-03-2013-0016Download as .RIS
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