The Experiences and Coping Strategies of Rural Women in Riverside, Zimbabwe with Regard to Water Scarcity


Water scarcity is a slow – onset disaster that does not usually obtain rapid humanitarian intervention, and the group mostly affected is women. This dissertation focuses on experiences and coping strategies of rural women with regards to water scarcity. The main focus is on exploring the impact of water scarcity on rural women and determining the significance the of progression of vulnerability model, progression of safety model and risk reduction objectives as tools for effectively identifying the effects of water scarcity and mitigating the identified problems. In addition, the study examines aspects of water scarcity that affect rural women and the social norms and values governing water use at international, national and local level. The thesis relied on four techniques of data collection; literature study, ethnographic research design, questionnaires and focus group discussion. The findings presented in the dissertation suggest that water scarcity is a frightening hazard and in urgent need of humanitarian intervention, for it taps into many facets of human security. The impact of water scarcity on women and the vulnerability of their families continue to progress negatively. The challenge of risk reduction and progress to security is difficult due to poor economies and a lack of technical and human resources.







List of Acronyms and Abbreviations 


Methodology and background of study 

1.1 Introduction 

1.2 Overall description of study area 

 1.2.1 Zimbabwe’s geographic location  

 1.2.2 Water profile of Zimbabwe  

 1.2.3 Climatic conditions in Zimbabwe 

 1.2.4 Water coverage and population data for Zimbabwe Riverside area 

1.3 Research problem

1.4 Objectives

 1.4.1 Formulation of research questions 

1.5 Research design and methodology 

 1.5.1 Data Collection  

 1.5.2 Data analysis 

1.6 Operationalisation 

 1.6.1 Data collection 

 1.6.2 Data analysis 

1.7 Limitations 

1.8 Ethical consideration 

1.9 Value of the study

1.10 Conclusion 


Overview on global perspective of water scarcity

2.1 Introduction 

2.2 Understanding water scarcity and the impacts on people 

2.3 Water resources all over the world are in difficulty 

 2.3.1 Water scarcity in Africa

2.4 Impacts of water scarcity: Sphere humanitarian minimum standards in water scarcity  

 crisis response  

2.4.1 Duties or Burdens: Roles of rural women in the family 

2.5 Conclusion 


Zimbabwe’s water legislation and governance

3.1 Introduction 

3.2 International developments: Legislation on the right to water  

 3.2.1 The 1997 United Nations Convention on the Law of Non – Navigational Uses of International Watercourses and the SADC protocol  

3.3 History: Colonial and Post-Colonial water imbalances  

 3.3.1 Zimbabwe’s old act (Act No 7 of 1976): Brief historical overview

 3.3.2 The new water act (Act No 31of 1998) and the ZINWA act (Act No 11 of 1998): Equal water access for all  

3.4 Brief comparison of the old and new water act of Zimbabwe  

3.5 The Zimbabwe’s Civil Protection Act (Act No 3 of 1992) and declaration of water shortages

 3.5.1 Hazard and vulnerability analysis: Zimbabwe’s Civil Protection weaknesses 

3.6 Conclusion 


Framework and theory: General discussion of the Progression of Vulnerability 

model (PAR) 

4.1 Introduction  

4.2 Understanding disaster risk management terms

4.3 Disaster Management Continuum: How resilient is a community?  

4.4 At Risk: Women’s vulnerability to water scarcity 

 4.5.1 Root causes of vulnerability 43 

 4.5.2 Dynamic Pressures 

 4.5.3 Unsafe Conditions

4.6 Critique of the Progression of Vulnerability (PAR) model  

4.7 Conclusion 


Presentation of findings 

5.1 Introduction 

5.2 The respondents demographics and access to water 

 5.2.1 Number of times the women fetch water 

5.3 Water sources and distance from water source 

5.4 Water sources in Riverside 

5.5 Water uses in Riverside: The women’s chores 

5.6 Role and voice of women: Management of water sources in Riverside

5.7 Social activities in Riverside 

 5.7.1 Riverside livelihoods 

5.8 Water conflict between the women of Riverside and neighboring settlements

5.9 Government and Non - governmental intervention in water related disasters and diseases 

5.10 Hazards and problems encountered in Riverside area. 

5.11 Conclusion  


Pressure and Release (PAR) model: Determining the progression of vulnerability to water scarcity of Riverside rural woman, Zimbabwe 

6.1 Introduction 

6.2 Root causes of water scarcity in Riverside area 

6.3 Dynamic pressures

6.4 Unsafe conditions

6.5 The hazards and crisis situation  

6.6 Critiquing the application of the PAR model 

6.7 Disaster or Crisis: Water scarcity hazard and progression of vulnerability  

6.8 Conclusion  


Concluding remarks on the study and Recommendations

7.1 Introduction  

7.2 Revisiting the research problem  

7.3 Revisiting the objectives and research questions 

7.4 Recommendations on the research findings 

 7.4.1 Further recommendations: towards a safer environment  

APPENDIX 1 Questionnaire 

APPENDIX 2 Focus group discussion 


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Kunguma, O. & kunguma, O (2022). The Experiences and Coping Strategies of Rural Women in Riverside, Zimbabwe with Regard to Water Scarcity. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Kunguma, Olivia, and Olivia Kunguma "The Experiences and Coping Strategies of Rural Women in Riverside, Zimbabwe with Regard to Water Scarcity" Afribary. Afribary, 12 Jan. 2022, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.


Kunguma, Olivia, and Olivia Kunguma . "The Experiences and Coping Strategies of Rural Women in Riverside, Zimbabwe with Regard to Water Scarcity". Afribary, Afribary, 12 Jan. 2022. Web. 14 Jul. 2024. < >.


Kunguma, Olivia and Kunguma, Olivia . "The Experiences and Coping Strategies of Rural Women in Riverside, Zimbabwe with Regard to Water Scarcity" Afribary (2022). Accessed July 14, 2024.