Building-Back-Better in Post-Disaster Recovery: Lessons Learnt from Cyclone Idai-Induced Floods in Zimbabwe


This study evaluated the build-back-better considerations in post-disaster recovery, following the devastation of Chipinge and Chimanimani communities by Cyclone Idai-induced floods in 2019. Conducted in 2020, the study assessed the impact of Cyclone Idai-induced floods on communities in Chipinge and Chimanimani Districts of Zimbabwe; evaluated the build-back-better considerations; and analyzed the lessons learned. Based on a qualitative approach and case study design, the study depended on focus group discussions, interviews, and researcher observations to gather data from 85 participants. The findings indicate that Cyclone Idai-induced floods seriously impacted human lives, infrastructure, and livelihoods of communities that had been living with flood risk and vulnerability. Build-back-better considerations were absent in much of the post-disaster recovery effort to address the cyclone disaster impact. There are important early lessons for both practitioners and community members to learn from the Cyclone Idai event. These lessons still can inform policy and disaster risk reduction practice in the medium and long term. Build-back-better should be a mandatory objective in the recovery from any disaster impact. Continuous training is also recommended to improve the disaster knowledge of stakeholders and increase local ability to cope with future disaster events.

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Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Engineering Systems and Supply Chain Management
Additional Information: Copyright: The Author(s) 2021. Open Access - This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Flood hazard,Build-back-better,Cyclone Idai,Zimbabwe,Post-disaster recovery,Geography, Planning and Development,Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law,Global and Planetary Change,Safety Research,SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities,SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
Publication ISSN: 2192-6395
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2024 07:22
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2021 11:06
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Related URLs: https://link.sp ... 753-021-00373-3 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2021-10
Published Online Date: 2021-10-18
Accepted Date: 2021-10-01
Authors: Dube, Ernest
Wedawatta, Gayan (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8600-5077)
Ginige, Kanchana



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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