By Memory Chamisa
THE negative impact of climate change has highlighted the urgent need for action to reduce its devastating effects on the country’s socio-economic development.
Districts within Harare metropolitan province met in the capital this Friday to deliberate on climate change mainstreaming.
This comes after the government pronounced the need for all ministries, departments and agencies to mainstream climate change in their 2023 budgets.
Some of the participants acknowledged the efforts made by the government especially the integration of climate change in the devolution agenda for better response measures to climate shocks.
“We are grateful to the government for putting in place effective climate change adaptation strategies through the devolution funds. As Chitungwiza, we have seen a massive borehole drilling initiative that has seen more than 50 boreholes being drilled across the town. This has greatly assisted in combating the water problems and dangers of uptake from unsafe reservoirs.
“Assistance has also been rendered to families affected by flash floods which we continue to experience whenever rains fall. These are some of the calamities that befall us due to climate change,” said Evangelist Machona, Chitungwiza Municipality acting Town Clerk.
“We have greatly been affected by climate change through the use of wetlands as residential space these water bodies have dried up and water itself is now a household nightmare. We are told dam levels have drastically reduced to lower levels and supply to our households is done sparingly,” said Precious Shumba of the Harare Residents Trust.
In his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Raphael Faranisi reiterated the need to develop a climate change resilient trajectory.
“Harare province though largely metropolitan, has had its share of the effects of climate change as evidenced through acute water shortages in some years and also flooding,” he said.
“As we tackle climate change, we must not leave out our metropolitan provinces as they too are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and contribute to the climate change challenge by virtue of large volumes of waste, large concentrations of vehicles and industrial operations which produce climate change causing greenhouse gases in high quantity as opposed to rural districts.”
Director Climate Change Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Washington Zhakata underscored the need for concerted efforts to minimise the adverse effects of climate change.
“In the past years, we have experienced floods through the form of cyclones that have resulted in the death of both humans and animals and displacement of families,” he said.
“In some areas, crop production had drastically deteriorated all this is as a result of climate change. We have convened here with different stakeholders to deliberate on how best they can mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in their budgets.
“The green climate fund is also one such initiative that will assist can developing countries to finance programmes in resilience building at all levels of society and sectors.”
Climate change has increasingly affected Zimbabwe as evidenced by the frequency of extreme weather conditions as well as human-wildlife conflict over pastures and water sources.