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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

WFP builds climate resilience in SADC region

Story by Theophilus Chuma

Hundreds of families in drought-prone areas across the country are set to benefit from a climate change resilience initiative spearheaded by the World Food Programme to improve food security.

Watson Mutero is a farmer with more than twenty years of experience. He braves the scorching heat to prepare his crop, anticipating the weather will not be harsh.

Like many other farmers, Mutero dreads the extreme temperatures, a direct result of climate change.

“Every year, we look forward to a friendly climate because any change in climate means farmers will be rendered helpless,” he says.

It’s a dark reality that many farmers are grappling with as changing weather patterns have increased the frequency of droughts and cyclones not only in Zimbabwe but across Southern Africa.

Global partners such as the World Food Programme are working with the government to build resilience and better prepare communities.

World Food Programme Africa Communications Chief, Mr Tomson Phiri notes, “The threat of climate change has exposed at least 59 million people across SADC to food insecurity. We are working with the government on climate adaptation strategies that better prepare communities.”

“We are financing climate adaptation for SADC, where Zimbabwe is also expected to benefit from as we step up preparedness against climate change.”

Early this month, the United Nations availed a US$45 million war chest to bolster climate change preparedness in Zimbabwe.

“Loss and damage have become important topics for discussion not only for Zimbabwe but across the Southern African region. This is why it’s important that we scale up focus on adaptation and resilience against climate change,” said Dr Edward Kallon, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.

With temperatures rising at twice the global average and most farmers dependent on the rains, strengthening resilience among farmers becomes a critical pedestal to fighting hunger and improving national food security.

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