Mail and Guardian

s she surveys her small, bare plot in Zimbabwe’s capital, farmer Janet Vambe knows something serious is happening, even if she has never heard of climate change.

“Long ago, I could set my calendar with the date the rains started,” the 72-year-old said. Nowadays, “we have to gamble with the rains. If you plant early you might lose and if you plant late you might win. We are at a loss of what to do.”

Paramu Mafongoya, a University of Zimbabwe agronomist, says Vambe’s worries and those of millions of other poor farmers — most of them women — across Africa are a clear sign of the impact of climate change on a continent already struggling to feed itself. Changes have been noted in the timing and the distribution of rainfall on the continent. Zimbabweans say the rainy season has become shorter and more unpredictable, Mafongoya said.

Climate change “is a serious threat to human life”, Mafongoya said. “It affects agriculture and food security everywhere.” Read more…