Original Research

Initiatives to boost resilience towards El Niño in Zimbabwe’s rural communities

Jephias Matunhu, Stephen Mago, Viola Matunhu
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 14, No 1 | a1194 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v14i1.1194 | © 2022 Jephias Matunhu, Stephen Mago, Viola Matunhu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 July 2021 | Published: 16 February 2022

About the author(s)

Jephias Matunhu, Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Commerce and Law, University of Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa
Stephen Mago, Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa
Viola Matunhu, Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Commerce and Law, University of Fort Hare, Bisho, South Africa


Most Zimbabweans living in rural areas experience acute shortages of water for domestic and agricultural purposes. Household poverty amongst rural inhabitants is also increasing because of factors such as El Niño-induced droughts, overdependence on donor assistance and government’s failure to invest in sufficient water infrastructure. The purpose of this article is to interrogate the initiatives that have been taken to alleviate food insecurity in Zimbabwe’s rural communities. Under the spotlight are the strategies that rural communities and other stakeholders embraced to adapt to the effects of El Niño and to reduce food poverty. We used extensive literature review methodology and explorative qualitative design to investigate how rural communities and other stakeholders in Zimbabwe deal with the issues of food security in the context of persistent El Niño-induced droughts. The results show that rural communities in Zimbabwe continue to experience food security challenges that require collaboration between communities, government, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other stakeholders to build resilience against El Niño-induced droughts. Modernising water supply systems and agricultural management systems can improve the efficiency and effectiveness in food production and distribution.


El Niño; rural communities; livelihoods; resilience; poverty; Zimbabwe


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Crossref Citations

1. An overview of Volume 14, No 1 (2022)
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