Mainstreaming Livelihood-Centred Approaches to Disaster Management

Archive content: This project has been completed, and the information is retained here for archive purposes. Current project work in Southern Africa can be found here.

Disasters caused by natural hazards such as floods, storms and droughts are a major challenge worldwide. The human and material cost of such disasters has risen sharply in recent years, forcing governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to spend financial resources on humanitarian relief instead of long-term development.

Generally, responses have been short-term. Now, the new thinking is integrating disasters with development. Community-driven approaches drawing upon local knowledge and using appropriate technologies are effective in protecting vulnerable communities.

Practical Action Southern Africa investigated and applied such methods through a five year project called Mainstreaming Livelihood-Centred Approaches to Disaster Management. Besides Zimbabwe, the project also operated in Bangladesh and Peru.

In Zimbabwe, it is collaborating with key Government Departments, Rural District Councils, NGOs, research and Community-Based Organisations.

Matabeleland South faces intermittent droughts.


Practical experiences of CBDRM planning (PDF, 1.5Mb)
A step-by-step description of the process whereby communities developed integrated development and disaster risk reduction plans. The document includes an example of a completed community plan. Examples of District disaster management plans which include community based disaster management perspectives; Bulilima disaster preparedness plan, Mangwe district disaster preparedness plan, Gwanda DRM planning guidelines.

The LCDRR guide (PDF, 7.6Mb)
The concept of livelihood centred disaster risk reduction is relatively new to Zimbabwe. This guide has been produced as a result of experiences that Practical Action has had in implementing the project "mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster management" in Matabeleland South. It has been produced to assist development practitioners, including District and Provincial government personnel from a range of disciplines, NGOs and communities to implement LCDRR approaches that increase their resilience.

The livelihoods centred approach to DRR - lessons from Matabeleland South (PDF, 2.3Mb)
This document describes how hazards - especially drought - impact on the lives and livelihoods of resource-poor rural people. By strengthening existing strategies and adopting new ways of making a living, people are able to increase their resilience to future hazards, stresses and shocks.

Coping with drought (PDF, 1.4Mb)
This paper is based on research carried out in two drought-prone districts of Matabeleland South. Rather than being passive victims waiting for the arrival of humanitarian aid, rual people reliant on agriculture as a main means of making a living having developed coping strategies which enable them to cope with and recover from increasingly frequent droughts.

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