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UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft (2020)

Learning from preparedness and mitigation of the 2018/2019 drought in Zimbabwe : Case of Gwayi Catchment

Gumbo, Tapiwanashe

Titre : Learning from preparedness and mitigation of the 2018/2019 drought in Zimbabwe : Case of Gwayi Catchment

Auteur : Gumbo, Tapiwanashe

Université de soutenance : UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2020

Résumé partiel
There is consensus amongst climate risk mitigation actors in Zimbabwe on the increase of drought occurrence in recent years causing all sorts of calamities in the country. This realisation is not being responded to by increased and improved efforts on drought risk reduction measures and policies which stem from lessons learnt from past drought management experiences. This has resulted in drought management in Zimbabwe remaining ad hoc and reactive rather than proactive, with adverse consequences on water, energy and food security, and subsequent social decays. Zimbabwe is a country that is very vulnerable to meteorological droughts because the majority of its population is largely dependent on rain fed agriculture for food production and livelihoods. The bulk of its electrical power is supplied by a Hydro-electric power station at Kariba dam whose low inflows due to the 2018/2019 hydrological drought resulted in record low dam water levels and drastically reduced power supply. Irrigated agriculture though hailed by many quarters as a solution to rainfall pattern variability and meteorological droughts was hampered by hydrological droughts of 2018/2019 in Gwayi catchment and other parts of the country. Water scarcity induced by hydrological droughts led to reduced irrigated cropping area with subsequent economic and livelihoods losses though levels of irrigation development in the country are still way below its potential. With increased occurrence of droughts, coupled to a major irrigated area expansion drive which the Government of Zimbabwe is currently undertaking for ensuring national food self-sufficiency, a future where water supply for irrigated agriculture will be permanently reduced is inevitable. This study seeks to characterise the 2018/2019 meteorological, hydrological and socio-economic droughts using Rainfall Anomaly, Standardised Precipitation, Run-off and Reservoir Storage indices (RAI, SPI, SRI and SRSI). Time series meteorological and hydrological data was used to derive the indices. Preparedness to drought, was reviewed through interviews and archival study, by analysing how pre-drought action plans unfolded during the drought period. The purpose of this was to learn from encountered challenges and opportunities to improve preparedness for future droughts.

Sujets  : drought management water scarcity catchments hydrological drought mitigation strategies Zimbabwe

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Page publiée le 21 avril 2021