Disaster recovery experiences of a South African rural farming community

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • SDG 11
  • Abstract:

    This study explored the bush fire disaster experiences and coping of South African farmers. Participants consisted of seven male farmers (6 = White Afrikaans-speaking; 1 = Black Tswana-speaking). Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, nine months after the disaster, and analysed thematically. The findings showed that the farmers’ recovery was characterised by three distinct, transitioning phases. The first period involved resource-maintenance coping and emotion-focused coping. The second time period was characterised by meaning making related strategies. Finally, the third time period was charactirised by anxiety over reoccurrence and resource-maintenance coping. The results also suggest that successful coping is reliant on the individual's ability to adapt coping strategies continually, in a context-appropriate manner.