By Staff Reporter
AS Zimbabwe recovers from Cyclone Idai which ravaged Manicaland and neighbouring countries over a year ago, affected communities should adopt smart agriculture as a road to rebuilding affected ecosystems, a top environmentalist has suggested.
Some victims are still living in makeshift tents and surviving on food aid while some families have been allocated pieces of land to embark on agriculture to sustain themselves.
However, the chief executive Southern Africa Trust Masego Madzwamuse said while those allocated farmland start to farm for food sustenance, there is a need for them to practice smart agriculture due to the fragility of their environment to new climate-induced disasters.
He was speaking at the Southern Africa Regional Dialogue on Rethinking the Current Models of Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change in Southern Africa which was held in the eastern border city last week.
“There is need to build community resilience and adaptation to change and in the long term looking beyond disasters and sustainable use of resources, particularly land resources that are in a fragile state and in some cases are fuelling these natural disasters.
“As victims are resettled and set to resume their farming activities to sustain livelihoods, it is important that they consider the role of climate-smart agriculture to maintain the integrity of ecosystems as a way of managing our local environment so that they are able to bounce back after extreme disasters.”
Head of Programmes for Action Aid Mozambique Marcia Cossa fears the risk of victims returning to their unsafe original flooded areas in the quest for spacious farming land.
“In Mozambique, there is limited space in the settlement areas and with limited space for farming, there is the risk of victims going back to their previous original flooded areas in quest of spacious farming land,” said Cossa.
According to Amnesty International Zimbabwe research and advocacy officer Lloyd Kuveya, southern African countries suffer the climate crisis due to excessive greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries.
“One needs to look at the root causes of the climate change crisis and it’s a global disaster induced by countries in the global north that are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions that leading to some of these disasters, and those countries are responsible in terms of assisting in mitigating the impact of climate-induced disasters.”