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University of Venda (2016)

Analysis of drought incidence, gendered vulnerability and adaptation in Chivi South, Zimbabwe

Chineka, Jestina

Titre : Analysis of drought incidence, gendered vulnerability and adaptation in Chivi South, Zimbabwe

Auteur : Chineka, Jestina

Université de soutenance : University of Venda

Grade : Masters of Environmental Sciences in Geography MENVSC 2016

Climate change has brought about a number of global environmental challenges and the worst, climatic disasters such as floods and droughts. In Zimbabwe, particularly in the semi-arid Chivi District, droughts have become more frequent. At the household level, there are a multiplicity of vulnerability and coping mechanisms to this scourge, which have gender dimensions. This study analysed the vulnerability of the Chivi South community to drought and its adaptation with specific consideration to the gender dynamics. The specific objectives for this dissertation were to establish the characteristics and extent of drought occurrences in Chivi District in the last 30 years, assess Chivi South‟s vulnerability to drought, evaluate levels of gender vulnerability to drought, and analyse gendered adaptation to drought. Subsequently, a strategy for drought adaptation in the rural areas of Zimbabwe was drawn. The research was based on the mixed methods approach, as it employed both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Data collection methods included a review of official documents, key informant interviews with community leaders, Non-Governmental Organisations and government officials working in the area, household questionnaires and focus group discussions. The Standardized Precipitation Index was used to determine drought severity. Data was analysed using the SPSS 22.0 software. Capabilities such as Chi-square and cross tabulation were used to effectively analyse data. The Household Vulnerability Index was employed to infer vulnerability and adaptation of the community to drought. Research findings were illustrated using charts, graphs, tables and photographs. The study established the occurrence of droughts in Chivi, with a high prevalence of low magnitude droughts. A decrease in crop food production closely related to drought patterns was noted. Drought vulnerability cuts across the whole gender spectrum, with a sizable number of female headed households being severely exposed. However females adapt better to the effects of drought than males. A holistic approach which seeks to integrate both men and women in decision-making and to improve the community‟s adaptation to drought and other disasters was proposed.


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