Original Research

Adaptation to drought in arid and semi-arid environments: Case of the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe

Emmanuel Mavhura, Desmond Manatsa, Terence Mushore
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 7, No 1 | a144 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v7i1.144 | © 2015 Emmanuel Mavhura, Desmond Manatsa, Terence Mushore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 July 2014 | Published: 11 March 2015

About the author(s)

Emmanuel Mavhura, Department of Geography, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe
Desmond Manatsa, Department of Geography, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe
Terence Mushore, Department of Geography, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Small-scale rain-fed agriculture is the main livelihood in arid to semi-arid regions of subSaharan Africa. The area is characterised by erratic rainfall and frequent droughts, making the capacity for coping with temporal water shortages essential for smallholder farmers. Focusing on the Zambezi Valley, Zimbabwe, this study investigates the impact of drought on food security and the strategies used by smallholder farmers to cope with drought. We used meteorological data and interviews to examine the rainfall variability in the study area and the drought-coping mechanisms employed by smallholder famers respectively. The results show that there are various strategies used by smallholder farmers to cope with the impact of drought. These strategies include drought-tolerant crop production, crop variety diversification, purchasing cereals through asset sales, non-governmental organisations’ food aid and gathering wild fruit. However, consecutive droughts have resulted in high food insecurity and depletion of household assets during droughts. Smallholder farmers in the valley have also resorted to a number of measures taken before, during and after the drought. Still, these strategies are not robust enough to cope with this uncertainty

Keywords

drought, smallholder farmers, Zambezi Valley

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2923
Total article views: 7476


Crossref Citations

No related citations found.