By Cliven Njekete/Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa characterised by tropical climate, good landscape and wildlife mainly found in protected areas. The National Report by ZimStat on the Census of 2012 reported Zimbabwe’s population at slightly above 13 million people. However, at present, various sources estimate Zimbabwe’s population to be over 15 million as of 2016.
The Ministry of Environment Water and Climate, Meteorological Services Department of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Climate Change Department and Environmental Management Agency are mainly the public organisations involved in climate and environmental issues in the country with the input of various Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The report of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that Africa will suffer the most from the impacts of climate change, with Zimbabwe being no exception. It is envisaged that climate change will induce average temperatures to rise by 3°C in Zimbabwe before the end of 21st century, whilst annual rainfall is likely to decline by between 5% and 18% especially in the south. Rainfall will become more poorly distributed, droughts, floods and storms frequency will increase and this certainly has dire consequences on the country’s food security, energy, health and economy.
In Zimbabwe, long term changes in the average atmospheric conditions are already happening. Based on the records from 1990 the average annual surface temperatures has increased by 0.4°C, not to mention the decrease in about 5% of the total amount of rainfall and occurrence of more hot days and less cold days than in the past.
Rainfall is seen to be declining, with frequent cases of delayed rain season. There have been more dry days during the rainy season with droughts and floods having increased in frequency since 1990, often occurring back to back with a flood year immediately following a drought year. The country has experienced one of the worst droughts during the previous agricultural season of 2015/2016 mainly attributed to the El Nino effect. This saw even crops like cotton which require little water being affected.
It is anticipated that by 2050 until 2100 Zimbabwe will likely experience;
Brazie. A., (2015) Climate Change in Zimbabwe: Facts for Planners and Decision Makers. Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung Publishers
GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, WATER AND CLIMATE: Zimbabwe’s National Climate Change Response Strategy
Shanahan. M., Shubert. W., Scherer. C., and Corcoran. T., (2013) Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists. Published in 2013 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Cliven is currently the Project’s Social Media Coordinator for the ClimatEducate Project in Africa. He is currently based in France.