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University of Namibia (2022)

Assessing the impact of floods on food security in the Zambezi region : A case study of the Ikaba area

Mabuku, Kennedy Kaumba

Titre : Assessing the impact of floods on food security in the Zambezi region : A case study of the Ikaba area

Auteur : Mabuku, Kennedy Kaumba

Université de soutenance  : University of Namibia

Grade : Master of Arts (Security and Strategic Studies) 2022

The present empirical study was conducted in the Ikaba area of Kabbe South Constituency (KSC) of the Zambezi Region, an area with a long and known history of persistent floods annually. Studies on flood and food security relations primarily focus on four dimensions of food security and have hardly received any attention from researchers, which is the reason that motivated this study. This study was aimed at assessing the impact of floods on food security by reviewing the lived experiences of those affected by flood in the Ikaba area of KSC. The present study used semi-structured interviews to collect data from a sample of 14 households that consisted of 9 to 23 people and 4 key informants in the Zambezi region who occupy keystrategic positions. A qualitative research approach was used, supported by the phenomenological research design. Data was analysed using thematic analysis to make sense of the participants’ accounts of the impact of the floods on food security. The study’s findings reveal that crop damages have been a recurring and uncontrolled phenomenon in the Ikaba area due to prevalent floods causing premature harvest, consequently affecting food availability. Besides, it has been found that accessing markets during flood time for all kinds of food is an unrealised endeavour, mainly due to a lack of proper road infrastructure in the area. In the end, food accessibility has become one of the food security dimensions that have been affected. The study further discovered that insufficient nutritious food has become a recurring trend within the Ikaba community regarding food utilisation. In addition, food utilisation was found to be affected by poor health status caused by contaminated food and water which comes with high health risks due to the floods. While food supply chain disruption affects food stability, the study also concluded that lack of food retailers and failure to access Agri-loans due to a lack of collateral by community members in the area affects food stability. The study concludes that the Ikaba area inhabitants suffer from acute food insecurity. Not all people in the area have both physical and economic access to readily accessible, sufficient and suitable food to meet their dietary needs for a productive and healthy life. In conclusion, the present study recommends the construction of permanent road infrastructure in the KSC to link the residents of Ikaba to the outside world, especially to markets. Also, the construction of a diversion canal, planting of early maturing varieties, improved access to affordable loans have been noted in the study as prospective coping strategies that may ameliorate the impact of floods on food security.


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