Community Characteristics Influencing Flood Recovery. A Cas | 74156
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Community Characteristics Influencing Flood Recovery. A Case of Sipepa and Jimila Wards in Tsholotsho District, Zimbabwe during the 2016 to 2017 Floods


Mlamuleli Tshuma*

Tsholotsho is one of the districts in Zimbabwe that is prone to flood hazards particularly Sipepa and Jimila areas during the 2016 to 2017 rainfall season. The district falls under Agro-ecological region five and it is generally flat and dominated by poorly drained Kalahari sand soils. The study sought to assess the community characteristics influencing flood recovery in Sipepa and Jimila wards in Tsholotsho. With the climate variability obtaining in Tsholotsho, the frequency of flooding is increasing. These floods have seen people losing lives, livestock, crops, infrastructure, and property. The community characteristics are clustered around five asset groups that are physical, economic, environmental, social, and human. There are indications that the affected fail to recover after flood disasters. The overarching objective of the study, therefore, was to examine community characteristics influencing recovery from the effects of floods at Sipepa and Jimila wards in Tsholotsho district. The study sought to interrogate flood recovery initiatives implemented, determinants of coping levels, institutional frameworks underpinning recovery as well as ways through which resilience to flooding can be enhanced. Through the case study design, respondents were randomly and purposively selected. Data was collected using a questionnaire, key informant interviews, focus group discussion. A case study design was used where Sipepa and Jimila wards were used as the case. Key findings were that the community characteristics influencing recovery are human health and well-being, disability, age, level of education, bridging capital, livelihood forms, and community cohesion, level of economic activity and employment, household and community bases, location of homesteads, community skills and capacity. There is, therefore, a need for communities to adhere to the building codes and diversify their livelihood options. In terms of governance, policies need to be operationalized and have robust monitoring systems of feedback to the relevant bodies.

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