Mbare, Zimbabwe's Riskiest Suburb – National Study

The risks include, among other things, cholera, typhoid, dysentry, HIV/Aids and general dirt in the high density suburb.

The National Survey was conducted by Jekoniya Chitereka, a Demographer and Tendai Chikumba, an Urban Planner.

The two are from the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Department.

The study was commissioned by the Joint Initiative for Urban Zimbabwe (JI) and was meant to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature, frequency and intensity of hazards and risks in urban environments in Zimbabwe, using the risk equation.

The equation is a basic tool which looks at how exposure to risk is minimised through improved community or individual capacity to respond to and withstand disaster situations.

“Mbare high density suburb was found to have the highest number of hazards and assess risks in their areas,” the survey concluded.

It stood at three on the risk analysis scale, one being the least.

“Mbare (Harare), Njube (Bulawayo) and Mambo (Gweru) residents were found to be highly vulnerable to both  environmental (Water and air pollution) and epidemiological (cholera), dysentry, HIV/Aids) hazards,” the survey said.

“Incidences of hydrological hazards such as flooding were found in demarcated pockets of residential areas such as Mbare, Mambo and Mutapa in Gweru,” it said.

“Political unrest and displacements were also reported in Mbare, Sakubva in Mutare, and Gweru.”

The study said routine assessment of urban hazards and risks should be an integral component in urban planning and management in Zimbabwe.

“The strengthening of the DRR role of local authorities working with other relevant key stakeholders and mainstreaming of DRR can be achieved through the conscious efforts to address hazards and risks faced by urban communities with recourse to the national disaster risk reduction (DRR) framework,” the national survey concluded.