Farming is a tough business where success depends on a range of factors, including the weather. Hard frosts and flooding can be particularly damaging to those who grow crops and rear livestock, while severe droughts also have the capacity to wreak havoc.
One country that’s been hit hard by drought is Zimbabwe, in southern Africa. The most recent Global Report on Food Crises (GRFC), released in April, described the landlocked country as having experienced “its worst drought in decades” in 2019.
This drought, combined with other “weather extremes” and factors including serious economic difficulties, has had a devastating impact. Some of these include but are not limited to widespread poverty, high levels of HIV/AIDS and low crop productivity.
Zimbabwe’s problems are serious and systemic. At a local level, the development and introduction of efficient techniques could have a role to play. For instance, employing the use of “dead level contours” to harvest rainwater could be a solution to drought-stricken areas. A dead level contour is a flat channel dug into the earth which can be used to store water.
Organizations like Muonde Trust go around communities in Zimbabwe preaching on the importance of harvesting water. Other methods include use of solar powered borehole for watering. While the work being carried out by the Muonde Trust is based in Africa, harnessing and cultivating nature is important around the world.