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2012 (Vol. 4, Issue: 5)
Article Information:

Effective Livelihood Strategies in Distressed Environments: The Case of Mudzi District of Zimbabwe

Mutami Cephas and Chazovachii Bernard
Corresponding Author:  Mutami Cephas 

Key words:  Assets, resilience, rural development policy, sustainability, vulnerability context, ,
Vol. 4 , (5): 362-371
Submitted Accepted Published
June 01, 2012 June 23, 2012 September 25, 2012

This study looks at rural livelihoods in semi-arid and arid rural areas in post-2000 Zimbabwe. The decade-long socio-economic recession coupled with recurrent droughts presented a myriad of challenges to rural households in Zimbabwe. Taking Mudzi, a rural district in Zimbabwe, as a case study, the study explores the livelihood conditions and how households have managed to organize and cluster their assets to foster a living. Coping and adapting a cocktail of political, economic, climatic and social vulnerabilities in severely low economic potential communal areas of Zimbabwe requires elaborate skills in clustering, sequencing and reorientation skills in a broad range of activities. Using three basic livelihoods research methodologies namely retrospective, circumspective and prospective approaches, the research revealed that livelihood diversification in few effective strategies allows coping and even accumulation in distressed environments. Petty business, livestock rearing and networking are the core strategies being employed while crop farming and taking relief food are intermediate strategies. The study demonstrated that given appropriate rural development policy, households are capable of constructing their own robust sustainable livelihoods. Government policy constraints and inconsistencies in social and economic spheres and political violence are the greatest impediments to resilient livelihoods. There should be wide reforms on the political, economic and social sectors in the rural areas if poverty is to be reduced and household coping and adapting strategies are to be enhanced.
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  Cite this Reference:
Mutami Cephas and Chazovachii Bernard, 2012. Effective Livelihood Strategies in Distressed Environments: The Case of Mudzi District of Zimbabwe.  Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 4(5): 362-371.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-3246
ISSN (Print):   2041-3238
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