An evaluation of the vulnerability of Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) district of Zimbabwe to agrometeorological hazards and extreme events for improved farmer resilience
Kwenda, Benjamin M.
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Increased climate variability due to climate change has always results in the occurrence of varied meteorological hazards world-wide. These hazards and extreme events have the potential to decimate completely a people’s livelihood if adequate adaptation measures are not taken. In this study, a vulnerability assessment and mapping of agrometeorological hazards and extreme events that occur in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) district was carried out. Household surveys were used to document the hazards and to identify the community’s adaptation strategies. Climatological data analysis was used to verify occurrence of hazards to assess and map vulnerability. Satellite derived and ground based measurements were used to characterise the agroclimate of the district and to identify extreme events. Comparison of the maximum temperature from ground based and satellite derived measurements showed a high coefficient of determination (r2 = 0.9664). Start of season, end of season, length of growing period and length of dry spells were analysed using Instat+ 3.37. ArcGis 10.1 was used to map agroclimatic parameters such as temperature, rainfall, potential evapotranspiration and length of growing period over the district. The survey results showed that the districts is vulnerable to droughts, dry spells, waterlogging and extreme hot days more so over lower UMP. The seasons start late (7 December or later) and terminate early (4 March or earlier) resulting in short Length of growing season. Mapping of the hazards showed lower UMP being most vulnerable to the hazards and extreme events. Not all the components of vulnerability were considered in this study, therefore further studies should include such factors as socio-economic status of the smallholder farmers. Similar approaches can be used to carry out vulnerability assessment at national level.