Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe

An analysis of policy implications for post-disaster institutional development to strengthen disaster risk management

Publication date: 7 November 2019
Author: Kudzai Chatiza

Cyclone Idai struck Zimbabwe in March 2019, affecting 270,000 people. The storm and subsequent flooding and landslides left 340 people dead and many others missing. Agriculture, schools and infrastructure all suffered heavy impacts; many people lost their homes. Chimanimani and Chipinge Districts were hardest hit. 

This policy brief provides an analysis of the impacts and review of the disaster response to draw lessons and policy implications for post-disaster institutional development. Increased climate change-induced hazards will worsen national vulnerability.

Key policies and agencies need urgent improvement to frame more proactive disaster risk management (DRM). Stronger social protection systems, enhanced DRM funding, finalizing policy and devolved implementation structures, as well as better settlement systems regulation, are critical for Zimbabwe's ability to deal effectively with future climate-induced risks.