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Women and Land holds El Niño awareness workshop

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Women and Land holds El Niño awareness workshop


Ellen Mlambo

MASVINGO – Women and Land in Zimbabwe held a capacity-building workshop for farmers in Masvingo Province on resilience to climate-induced hazards in the wake of an El Niño prediction.
The workshop took place at a local lodge last Tuesday. Farmers and other stakeholders were drawn from Gutu, Masvingo and Mwenezi where the organisation operates.  
An El Niño is a natural climate pattern occurring every few years. It occurs when the Pacific Ocean warms up and this can lead to changes in weather patterns around the world. Zimbabwe has suffered floods and droughts over the years.
Women and Land in Zimbabwe Project Officer Bridget Masikati told The Mirror that the conference was held under the organisation’s food and security livelihood project.
She added that they decided to hold the workshop in Masvingo since the province is prone to disasters.
The project is funded by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) and is being implemented in seven districts; Chipinge, Makoni, Shurugwi, Gwanda, Gutu, Gokwe South and Mwenezi.
“The workshop was aimed at equipping farmers with knowledge about the effects of El Niño. This also assisted us in coming up with interventions. We relied on Meteorological Department projections and as an organisation that works with women, we decided to engage farmers, particularly female farmers.  
“Farmers and stakeholders were equipped with water harvesting techniques, the importance of diversified cropping, seed variety selection, water use and building resilience,” said Masikati.
Masikati said the program’s objective is to enhance food security and nutrition at the household level. They target 6,000 women, 2,000 young and 4,000 adult women.
Masvingo Provincial Meteorological Officer Abraham Mwale said there are projections of an El Nino which is likely to result in less rainfall.
“Compared to last season, we expect less rainfall this year because of climate change as there are projections of an El Niño. Mwenezi district normally receives an average of 450 ml and this year we anticipate the same or less rainfall levels. Masvingo receives an average of 650 to 750 ml and the figure may remain the same or drop caused by an El Nino projection this year,” said Mwale.
Mwenezi Development Training Centre, Zambuko project district coordinator Florate Whindizi encouraged farmers to use indigenous knowledge systems as weather indicators.

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