Original Research

An adaptation of a macroscale methodology to assess the direct economic losses caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe

Emmanuel Mavhura, Komal R. Aryal
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 14, No 1 | a1276 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v14i1.1276 | © 2022 Emmanuel Mavhura, Komal R. Aryal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 December 2021 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Emmanuel Mavhura, Department of Geography, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Bindura University of Science Education, Bindura, Zimbabwe
Komal R. Aryal, Research and Innovation Centre, Faculty of Resilience, Rabdan Academy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


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Abstract

Tropical cyclones are among the costliest disasters in the world, with reported losses amounting to billions of US dollars on an annual basis. To reduce the impact of disasters including cyclones, Zimbabwe signed the Sendai Framework whose Target C is aimed at reducing the direct economic losses of disasters. Under the direction of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), an open-ended intergovernmental expert working group (OIEWG) developed a simple methodology for estimating direct disaster-economic loss. Therefore, this study tested the applicability of the OIEWG methodology in assessing the direct economic losses induced by Tropical Cyclone Idai (TCI) in Zimbabwe. The results revealed that TCI inflicted huge losses in most sectors of the economy, notably the housing, agriculture and the critical infrastructure. The sectoral analysis approach of the OIEWG methodology worked well in distinguishing direct and indirect loses as well as in underlining the need to adopt and effectively implement adequate risk reduction strategies in the built environment. Strengthening such strategies such as the ‘build back better’ principle, cyclone forecasting and warning systems and constructing cyclone-resilient infrastructure is critical in order to minimise direct losses attributed to cyclones.


Keywords

Tropical Cyclone Idai; direct economic loss; estimate; sector; Zimbabwe

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