Exploring the Role of Indigenous Knowledge in Flood Disaster Risk Reduction in Zimbabwe
This study sought to identify alternative strategies that can be used to improve flood risk reduction strategies for Muzarabani District. Using a case study approach, the study collected qualitative data through the use of focus group discussions with community members inhabiting the flood plain, and key Informant interviews with traditional leaders and staff from government technical departments. These were used alongside semi structured household questionnaires. Both young and old agreed on the important value and role of locally available flood risk reduction strategies that have been used by the communities to prepare and plan for their survival and rehabilitation in relation to flooding. There were still elders with a wealth of indigenous knowledge that needed to be tapped and used before it disappeared. Communities exhibited knowledge on early warning systems and this significantly enhanced preparedness for disaster response and mitigation. However, these have never been scientifically proved but they have been in use over a long period of time and the communities have come to regard them as effective. This paper recommends that there should be deliberate efforts to harness the varied forms of indigenous knowledge that have helped the communities to bounce back from the effects of flooding and incorporate them into the mainstream flood risk reduction strategies which are currently based on science.