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Mobilizing local safety nets for enhanced adaptive capacity to climate change in Zimbabwe


In Zimbabwe, the increased frequency of drought, flash floods, and unpredictable rainfall has added to recurrent food deficits for poor households who depend on rainfed farming on nutrient poor soils. This brief explores how the erosion of Zunde raMambo — a traditional community safety net mechanism — over time has increased the vulnerability of communities through weakened community cohesion and collective action in addressing local problems. A renewal of Zunde raMambo could help to safeguard vulnerable households against the effects of climate change, says the researchers. Researchers worked with farmers to test soil fertility improvements that could help them revive this lost practice, and protect the poorest in times of hardship.

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This brief resulted from two projects supported by the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program: the research project Resilience and the African Smallholder : Enhancing the Capacity of Communities to Adapt to Climate Change and the mentoring project Promoting Participatory Action Research through Structured Learning on Climate Change Adaptation in Africa.

The Adaptation Insights series is a joint publication of the International Development Research Centre and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), supported by the Climate Change Adaptation in Africa program.