oa Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - The complexity of maladaptation strategies to disasters : the case of Muzarabani, Zimbabwe : original research



Over the past decade disasters have increased both in complexity and multiplicity, worsening the plight of vulnerable communities the world over. Many communities have devised coping mechanisms to mitigate the impact, but communities such as Muzarabani in Zimbabwe remain susceptible to disasters. This article seeks to analyse whether the coping measures applied make the communities safe from or vulnerable to disasters. Information was obtained through interviews, questionnaires and observations from four villages in Chadereka in the Muzarabani district. The results of this study indicated that households, government and non-governmental organisations have come up with different mitigation strategies, such as growing crops along river beds, livestock production, raised granaries and doorsteps, flood evacuation shelters and other emergency services. Research revealed that although viable, some of the strategies increased the community's vulnerability. This article therefore recommends sustainable utilisation of resources, and collaborative efforts to address the root causes, dynamic pressures and unsafe conditions in order to reduce the vulnerability of poor communities to natural disasters.


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