Rationale and Background
Zimbabwe is exposed to multiple weather-related hazards, suffering from frequent periodic cyclones, droughts, floods, and related epidemics and landslides. The situation is becoming worse due to the impact of climate change, which is increasing the frequency of these extreme events, especially tropical storms and cyclones, as well as their intensity.
On 15 March 2019, tropical Cyclone Idai hit eastern Zimbabwe affecting 270,000 people across nine districts, particularly in Chimanimani and Chipinge, with 172 reported to have been killed and over 500 injured or missing. Meanwhile, ecosystem damage also occurred where boulders and mud were dumped downhill, affecting wildlife habitats, water quality, tourism activities and usability of land resources. The cyclone’s aftermath has therefore increased environmental risks, which will in turn affect local adaptation. Loss of vegetation cover means the natural defense against future flood waters and landslides is no longer available. All these factors indicate that similar events in future are therefore likely to cause even more destruction.
The large impact of the cyclone also indicated that the flood monitoring and early warning capacities in Zimbabwe are insufficient, resulting in an acute threat to human security.
The overall objective of the project is to reduce weather-related hazards and the vulnerability of communities in the Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts to natural disasters, such as floods, droughts and landslides using a climate change adaption framework; and to enhance water resource management as well as ecosystem services in response to the uncertainty of future climate change. It is part of the Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) funded by the World Bank and managed by UNOPS.
The project is designed to approach the flood vulnerability through an integrated strategy that targets several aspects of disaster risk reduction, and provides scalable implementation of the project through a modular pathway and the development of case studies in target flood prone areas.
1. Disaster Risk Mapping in Chimanimani and Chipinge
1.1 Flood Risk Assessment Mapping
1.2 Landslides Disaster Risk Reduction
1.3 Climate Risk Informed Decision Analysis (CRIDA) for Chimanimani
2. Resilience Building in Chimanimani and Chipinge
2.1 An operational community-based flood monitoring and early warning system
2.2 Formulate Robust and Flexible Adaptation Actions
2.3 Develop and establish the Chimanimani (Transboundary) Biosphere Reserve through a stakeholder engagement process
A Glimpse of the Project Progress
This video below shows the project progress as of December 2021.