GOVERNMENT needs to come up with measures to mitigate climate change effects such as droughts, which are causing food insecurity.

A report released last week by the Afrobarometer listed Zimbabwe as one of the countries susceptible to severe droughts.

Afrobarometer’s assistant survey manager for southern Africa, Stephen Ndoma, said six in 10 Zimbabweans believe that droughts have become “somewhat more severe” or “much more severe” over the past 10 years due to climate change effects. “Almost two-thirds believe that ordinary citizens can help curb climate change, and even more want the government to take immediate action to limit climate change, even if it is expensive … or takes a toll on the economy,” Ndoma said.

“In fact, for a majority of Zimbabweans, the government has the primary responsibility of fighting climate change and reducing its impact.”

He said while the majority of Zimbabweans wanted government to step in and curb climate change, there was a sizeable chunk of the population that remained ignorant about climate change and its effects.

“Fewer than half of Zimbabweans say they have heard of climate change. Although the experience of severe drought is more common in rural areas, awareness of climate change is far lower among rural residents than among urbanites,” Ndoma added.

According to the World Bank, in addition to being affected by extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods and drought, Zimbabwe has recorded declining mean annual rainfall and late and early cessation of rain seasons across all agro-ecological regions, while  mean annual temperatures have increased.

Although climate change is still an unknown phenomenon to more than half of Zimbabweans, stakeholders have failed to step up to their mandate to mitigate climate change, hence presenting the government with the sole responsibility of immediately combating the phenomenon

Source Newsday