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Livelihood Strategies Of The Aged People In Mubaira Community, Zimbabwe

Posted on:2011-05-20Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:South AfricaCandidate:Muruviwa Addmore TFull Text:PDF
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In today's changing demographic, economic, political and environmental context the livelihood strategies developed by the rapidly growing older population deserve particular attention. Lack of support by the state coupled with economic crises and decreasing family availability has meant that older people are increasingly expected to find their own means of support into old age, develop their own strategies and rely on their own resources. Heterogeneity in old age means that while some older people are amongst the most vulnerable and socially down and out, others have accumulated resources that enable them to implement diverse and enterprising livelihood strategies to maintain their wellbeing in old age. This study uses an explorative approach in its quest to understand the various livelihood strategies of the elderly. In-depth interviews and life histories have been utilized as data collection instruments. In addition to this inductive and qualitative research approach, the dissertation uses the sustainable livelihoods framework to examine the different kinds of livelihood strategies employed by the elderly in Mubaira to stave off poverty in old age in the absence of social security systems. A comparative analysis with other regional countries reveals that old age pensions have been able to reduce poverty at old age significantly. By engaging in different livelihood activities, in the absence of old age pensions, the elderly in Mubaira community in Zimbabwe have been able to make a living. Agriculture is the dominant activity the aged people engage in as they try to avert food insecurity. Besides agriculture, aged people diversify their livelihoods through self employments that add income value to their households. The impact of cash and non-cash remittances has seen aged people being able to buy basic goods and a few essentials. Although the state has been dysfunctional, civil society has stepped in to address the livelihood challenges faced by the aged population and in particular to provide an alternative solution to the needs of the elderly people within the sustainable livelihoods framework which remains one of the most important models for the analysis of rural livelihoods. Through the livelihoods approach‘s vulnerability approach the study also analyses the various impacts affecting the attainment of sustainable livelihood outcomes. Through the utilization of the livelihoods framework in addition to the qualitative research methodology as indicated above, the study found that livelihood activities of the aged require a stock of capital assets which include natural, human, physical, social and financial capital. The life histories of the aged in Mubaira revealed that through the years the aged did accumulate various assets that assist them even now. As the life course perspective suggests events in earlier life do have a bearing on later life, access to a range of capital assets helped old aged people in Mubaira to fully engage in livelihood strategies that ensured their survival and escape from poverty.
Keywords/Search Tags:Livelihood Strategies, Mubaira
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