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Loss and damage from the double blow of flood and drought in Mozambique

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Loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate variability and climate change is currently an important topic being discussed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This study investigated loss and damage from floods and droughts among rural households living near the Limpopo, Zambezi and Save rivers in Mozambique. We used a questionnaire survey (
n
= 303) and qualitative research tools. The study showed that farmers in the research areas were caught between two evils. In the uplands, conditions for agriculture are extremely poor and crop yields are low; moreover, farmers face considerable risk of crop failure when drought hits. In the lowlands, close to the river, soil and water conditions are more favourable, but these areas experience frequent floods. Evidence from this study shows that farmers in the research areas are severely affected by both floods and droughts, and their capacity to cope and adapt is limited. With very little livelihood diversification and poor access to markets, crop failures translate almost directly into severe food insecurity among the population.

Keywords: loss and damage, flood, drought, climate change, climate variability, coping, agriculture, livelihood, resettlement, Mozambique

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