Stories

Thriving For Climate Resilient and Low Carbon Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe Arts & Books February 20 @ 12:25pm

According to science almost 4.5 billion years ago, our planet formed from a cloud of gases. Those gases solidified. A thin outer crust formed, and an atmosphere developed. Since its birth, Earth has been morphing in ways big and small. And ever since the first inklings of life arose, some 3.8 billion years ago, Earth’s organisms have been adapting to this ever-changing world.
No single species has ever been responsible for big changes on Earth. Until now.
Human activities — particularly the burning of fossil fuels — have emerged as a driving force in changing the chemistry of Earth’s atmosphere. That has caused Earth’s seas to become slightly more acidic. And it has warmed the average temperatures near the planet’s surface and in its upper oceans. Those temperature changes have, in turn, altered climate worldwide. And in response, species have begun to change where and how they live.
The Climate Change contributed to heat waves in Zimbabwe. The rainfall pattern have changed and has led to massive drought /floods in the country. There is a big gap in terms of climate change perspectives in the country as most citizens believe it is the will of God.

Climate change is bringing more weather extremes, and Zimbabwe is suffering from opposite crises at once floods and drought. Last year Cyclone Idai ravaged the eastern parts of Manicaland province in mid-March with torrential rains and winds of more than 190 km per hour. It took days for the sheer size of the resulting disaster to be understood. The cyclone caught the Zimbabweans unaware. It killed hundreds of people and thousands were left homeless.

Last month the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) warned of heavy rains accompanied by violent winds and floods. After few days Binga areas were pummelled hit by the natural phenomenon .Villagers under Chief Sinakoma the floods affected 181 households and roads were swept. The Hwange power station was flooded and it affected the whole country with heavily power cuts. In other areas rivers were flooded and some rural Schools were affected as few students were attending lessons.
As other areas in Zimbabwe were flooded, Bulawayo and surrounding areas there were no rainfall and the dam’s water levels were decreasing.

Climate related disasters harm growth and development prospects. Climate change, with its more extreme weather events, will both broaden and intensify these impacts on less privileged communities and Zimbabwe as a whole. The less privileged citizens are most vulnerable to disasters such as this natural phenomenon.
Climate variability and change will have profound effects on key sectors of Zimbabwe’s economy. The vulnerable economic sectors are Water, Energy, Industry, Health, Infrastructure, Forestry, Biodiversity and Agriculture

Will it rain more or less? Will the timing of rainfall change? Will rainfall come in short bursts with long dry periods in between? Will the frequency and intensity of floods events increase? We don’t know the answer to these questions with certainty. Some areas are wetter, some are drier, some involve shifts in the timing of rainfall and others don’t. While all climate futures are warmer or less temperature increase.
During UN climate change Learn workshop in Bulawayo from 13th to 14th of February 2020, the Director of Climate Change Management in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Washington Zhakata, spoke on having resettlement assessment programme on victims of natural disasters.
Mr Zhakata went on to say climate change has affected the country progress due to increased floods, cyclones and drought and availability of limited funds to combat all problems emanating from natural disaster.
“We need to mainstream climate change even up to our budgeting because it is not there. There is no demonstration of climate change mainstreaming in our budget. We are yet to receive funds that will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of people in settlements and identify safe havens where they can be resettled in case there is a problem of flooding. We haven’t done that,” said Mr Zhakata
Article 6 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCC and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement urged Parties to develop and implement education, training and public awareness programmes on climate change, including the developmental and exchange of educational and public awareness materials on climate change.

The Zimbabwe national climate change vision is to have a climate resilient and low carbon in the country. Every citizen has role to play in accelerating mitigation measures by adopting and developing low carbon development pathways.
“Zimbabwe like many other developing countries has not been spared; experiencing many climatic hazards over several decades among them droughts, seasonal and flush floods, extreme temperatures and dry spells.
Among the speakers at UN cc learn workshop was UN Senior Specialist-Chemicals and Waste Management programme Mr Nelson Manda
“Drought and floods have increased in frequency, intensity and magnitude over last the last two decades, having adverse impacts on food and water security, and the sustainability of livelihoods of many especially the rural communities. “We can think of what is happening at the Kariba, as an examples and you realise how vulnerable and impacted we can all be.” Emphasized Mr Manda

Mr Manda went on to say , If the National Climate Change learning strategy in place, its implementation will support Zimbabwe in achieving its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by ensuring enhanced capacities and skills to address the associated climate change risks and impacts. UN CC:Learn has been supporting countries in addressing learning priorities relevant to their (NDCs) and National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), through the development and implementation of climate change learning strategies and it is expected that, this partnership with Zimbabwe, will further enhance the local capacities and adoption of the appropriate technologies.
Through the implementation of the learning strategy, it is expected that a strengthened human resources base will be developed, and this will foster efforts in climate change resource mobilization from the various existing sources including the private sector. Adversely affected by the impacts of climate change by promotion of evidence-based sustainable technologies that speak to improved and resilient livelihoods. Climate change has impacts at global ,regional and national levels .Tackling problems of the vulnerability of Zimbabwe’s systems to climate variability and change can be best be undertaken through tight collaborations among national (local) and international institutions.

Enos Denhere is a Freelance Journalist based in Zimbabwe . Email enosdenhere@gmail.com Call/App +263773894975
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