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Library How does climate exacerbate root causes of conflict in Zimbabwe?

How does climate exacerbate root causes of conflict in Zimbabwe?

How does climate exacerbate root causes of conflict in Zimbabwe?
An impact pathway analysis

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Date of publication
October 2021
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Pathway #1: Food insecurity and competition over access and use of natural resources

(I) The effects of the climate crisis can impact food, land, and water systems in various ways, reducing their production and productivity, increasing food insecurity and potentially lead to conflict because of the reduced opportunity costs of participating in violent acts.

(II) The effects of the climate crisis may also increment and exacerbate the risk of patronage, rent seeking and resource competition which are at the heart of food insecurity and malnutrition. The interests of ZANU-PF elites to protect their economic interests to continue monopolising resources, including food aid, is likely to increase state violence against the opposition as well as sponsoring political violence, including the use of their constituencies to attack opposition members. This, in turn, may increase the likelihood of radicalisation of opposition activists and the spark of violent reactions that could escalate into violent clashes between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters

Pathway #2: Water scarcity and conflict in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North The provinces of Bulawayo and Matabeleland North have suffered from political, social, and economic marginalisation which has fostered a distinct identity that overlaps ethnicity and political sentiments. Bulawayo and Matabeleland North are also two of the most affected regions by climate variability and extremes. Water scarcity and water quality is a core issue that particularly affects Bulawayo and Matabeleland North. The impact of the climate crisis on water scarcity and other existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities could exacerbate existing political inequalities and tensions, potentially leading to a violent conflict between the opposition and the government elites over the control of the scarce resources.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

I Madurga Lopez, T Dutta Gupta, P Läderach, G Pacillo

Geographical focus