Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Disaster Management
The Case of Muzarabani District in Zimbabwe
Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) in disaster management have been used since time immemorial with very successful results in Zimbabwe and other parts of the world.
Its use during colonial times has been perceived with backwardness and primitive and therefore has not been recognized in decision and policy making.
The need to revive IKS has since emerged as the scientific strategies have proved inadequate in many instances as they are less trusted by communities, are usually externally driven and at times do not address the critical needs of the communities.
IKS has not been documented and is not widely known.
This study therefore sought to bridge the knowledge gap by collecting, and promoting incorporation of IKS in disaster management strategies.
The study established that IKS has a significant role especially in forecasting and disaster preparedness.
It helps to predict climate conditions with a high degree of reliability.
The study established that with the advent of climate change and increased population, an integration of IKS and scientific systems is required.
It offers options for a wide dissemination of IKS, including supporting it with legally binding instruments.
Egline Tauya is Head of SARDC IMERCSA, a collaboration centre of UNEP for southern Africa for environmental assessment and reporting.
Has Msc in Development Studies and Bsc in Geography Environmental studies.
She has extensive experience in environmental assessment and reporting and water resources management regional and international level.