The Wedza Residents Development Initiative Trust (WERDIT) is set to engage in programmes aimed at equipping communities with knowledge on climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
This follows a research which was conducted by the residents’ group in Wedza’s Ward 6.
The research sought to establish the extent to which communities within the Wedza district have been affected by climate change
“As WERDIT, we conducted a research in Mubaiwa village which falls under Ward 6 in Wedza District. The research revealed that women and children are the most affected by the effects of climate change.
“We have engaged women and child headed families in order to find out ways to address problems and challenges which are being caused by climate change in this community. This programme will also spread to other communities within the Wedza district so that we come up with a collective approach towards addressing the effects of climate change within the Wedza district,” said WERDIT Programmes Officer, Morris Johwezha.
According to Johwezha, women and children interviewed during the research said that climate change has reduced agricultural production mainly as a result of floods and droughts.
Disease outbreaks that have also affected plants and animals in the area have resulted in food insecurity, said Johwezha.
He added that food shortages that have been as a result of the effects of climate change have exposed women and children to different forms of abuse.
“Due to food shortages, women are being sexually abused in exchange for food. Early child marriage cases have also been reported and for us as WERDIT this is a huge cause for concern,” said Johwezha.
In light of the challenges, Johwezha said WERDIT is in the process of sourcing resources to start small projects such as nutritional gardens and poultry projects to help sustain vulnerable communities.
He also said that WERDIT will partner with various stakeholders as part of efforts to transfer knowledge to communities on coping mechanisms in light of the effects of climate change, the type of crops to grow as well as other practices such as water harvesting.
“The research also revealed that due to climate change effects, conflicts have increased as people fight for water, fire wood and even wild fruits.
“In light of the increase in cases of conflicts among villagers, we will also partner with various stakeholders including the police, traditional leaders amongst others to address conflicts caused by climate change,” said Johwezha.