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Socioeconomic impacts of floods and droughts in the middle Zambezi river basin Case of Kanyemba

Socioeconomic impacts of floods and droughts in the middle Zambezi river basin Case of Kanyemba Purpose – 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. Design/methodology/approach – The method adopted was semi‐structured interviews, focus group discussions and semi‐structured questionnaires. Findings – 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. Originality/value – 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. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management Emerald Publishing

Socioeconomic impacts of floods and droughts in the middle Zambezi river basin Case of Kanyemba

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1756-8692
DOI
10.1108/IJCCSM-03-2013-0016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – 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. Design/methodology/approach – The method adopted was semi‐structured interviews, focus group discussions and semi‐structured questionnaires. Findings – 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. Originality/value – 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.

Journal

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 13, 2014

Keywords: Impact; Floods; Socioeconomic; Coping mechanisms; Droughts; Kanyemba

References