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Zimbabwe Govt works on drought mitigatory measures

WITH drought now imminent in some parts of the country due to erratic rains in the just ended farming season, Government has reiterated that no Zimbabwean will starve.
An inter ministerial committee, chaired by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister July Moyo has been set up and awaits an assessment report on the situation from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries and Rural Resettlement.
Minister Moyo in an interview yesterday said the Government has looked at the vulnerability assessment for the whole of Zimbabwe and contingency plans are being worked on.
“The President has already assured the nation and he always reminds us in Cabinet that nobody will starve, we just have to up our game as we prepare for this drought which is imminent.
The final assessment by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, and Rural Resettlement on the situation that is prevailing will be presented and once that is done we will then have a comprehensive plan of action to tackle this,” said Minister Moyo.
He said the ministry will inform the committee on the areas where there will be a harvest deficit and those where there will be a surplus.
“The Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare will give us the final figure of how many vulnerable groups we have to look at month by month and the peak month, we then sit and recommend to Cabinet on what course of action to take, “ said Minister Moyo.
Meanwhile, Chief Gampu Sithole of Tsholotsho has summoned headmen under his jurisdiction to a crisis meeting on Sunday.
Set to be in attendence too will be chiefs from the surrounding areas.
The headmen are expected to brief the chief on the crop situation in their areas, a report which will then be compiled and presented to Government for mitigatory measures.
“The situation on the ground is not pleasing, people are most likely going to harvest small grains crops like sorghum and millet.
The maize crop is a complete write off, it’s very disturbing.
I have since decided to call for a meeting with all headmen so that I get a first hand update on how the situation is in their areas, but generally it’s not a pleasing one,” said Chief Gampu.-  Chronicle
*Climate change drives extreme rain*
Paris. –A string of deadly storms pummelled Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique with more intense rainfall because of climate change, new research found on Monday.
Three tropical cyclones and two tropical storms hit Southeast Africa in just six weeks in the first months of this year, causing widespread flooding.
More than a million people were affected and at least 230 people died.
The analysis was carried out by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) network of scientists, which has pioneered ways to speedily link extreme weather events to climate change.
They said that it was climate change that had made the heavy rains brought by the back-to-back storms both heavier and more likely.
“Again we are seeing how the people with the least responsibility for climate change are bearing the brunt of the impacts,” said WWA co-founder Friederike Otto, of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College London.
After Tropical Storm Ana smashed into the region in January, Tropical Cyclone Batsirai hit Madagascar in early February, followed in quick succession by Tropical Storm Dumako and Tropical Cyclones Emnati and Gombe.
WWA scientists used weather observations and computer simulations to compare rainfall patterns under today’s climate to that of the pre-industrial area, before global warming.
They focused on two of the wettest periods — during storm Ana in Malawi and Mozambique and during cyclone Batsirai in Madagascar.
“In both cases, the results show that rainfall associated with the storms was made more intense by climate change and that episodes of extreme rainfall such as these have become more frequent,” WWA said in a report of their findings.
That tallies with overall climate research showing that global warming can increase the frequency and intensity of rainfall.
But the scientists were not able to determine exactly how much climate change influenced the extreme events because of a shortage of high quality historical rainfall records for the region.
This is a particular concern in poorer nations, which are also especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. – AFP
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