For Sekai Mugaviri, climate change is not some distant, faraway threat. With failed rains becoming increasingly frequent, the reality of climate change means she may not be able to feed her five children today.
Three years of successive droughts have devastated communities here in Zimbabwe. Drought has scorched crops. So adapting to the new climate is absolutely crucial for her to be able to harvest crops, feed her family and earn an income.
Three in four people in Zimbabwe are like Sekai, they rely on subsistence agriculture. Drought has hit Zimbabwe again this year for a third successive season. This year’s harvest only produced half of what the country needs, according to the World Food Programme.
The drought is being compounded by the Covid-19 crisis. A nationwide lockdown has caused massive joblessness. As a result, the UN is now warning that by the end of 2020, a staggering 8.6 million, 60% of the country, are at risk of going hungry.
Yet there is hope.
Innovative farming techniques are transforming the fortunes of farmers like Sekai. Trócaire is working through local partner organisations in Zimbabwe like Caritas Masvingo to introduce new farming approaches. These approaches can help produce crops even during drought when water is scare, and they are also environmentally friendly.
“I now face few challenges in life” says Sekai after she introduced drought-resistant crops into her farm. “I have my own money and can make critical decisions for my family like paying school and hospital fees, buying my children’s books and uniforms. I am much happier.”
How do we make this incredible transformation take place?