Potential strategies for harnessing indigenous rainmaking practices to combat the negative effects of climate change in Chimamimani District of Zimbabwe

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dc.contributor.advisor Francis, J.
dc.contributor.advisor Matshidze, P. E.
dc.contributor.author Marango, Timothy
dc.date 2017
dc.date.accessioned 2017-10-23T08:54:03Z
dc.date.available 2017-10-23T08:54:03Z
dc.date.issued 2017-09-18
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11602/895
dc.description PhDRDV
dc.description Institute for Rural Development
dc.description.abstract Currently, there is limited understanding, appreciation and dissemination of indigenous raining making practices. Yet indigenous rain making is part of the rich African heritage. The current study was premised on the view that indigenous rain making practices can help combat the negative effects of climate change if properly integrated with western science. A mixture of exploratory and survey designs was adopted in this study, which sought to examine the common indigenous rainmaking practices in Chimanimani District of Zimbabwe prior to developing strategies for reducing the negative impacts of climate change on the livelihoods of rural households. Various studies with the following specific objectives were carried out: to analyze the general community perceptions on the potential of indigenous rain making practices in combating the negative effects of climate change; to examine the components of indigenous rainmaking practices; analyse the means of disseminating knowledge on indigenous rainmaking; to identify the negative effects of climate change on the livelihoods of rural households; to assess the effectiveness of existing strategies used by households to cope with the negative effects of climate change; and to propose strategies for utilizing indigenous rainmaking practices to counter the negative effects of climate change on the livelihoods of rural households. Semi-structured interview guides and a questionnaire requiring responses on a Likert-type scale were used to collect data. Key informants and ordinary community members were selected using judgmental, convenient and snowballing sampling techniques. The Thematic Content Analysis technique was used to draw meaning out of the qualitative data. Chi-Square tests for Goodness of Fit were conducted using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to establish if there were significant relationships among perceptions. It was indicated that the shift in seasons as exemplified by the Nyamavhuvhu wind which now swept Chimanimani in September or October instead of end of July to August was evidence of climate change. Responses with respect to the negative effects of climate change included food insecurity, and drying up of streams and rivers. Availability of water for domestic, agricultural and animal use was becoming increasingly unreliable. The respondents argued that they believed in the effectiveness of indigenous rain making if it is conducted following local customs and traditions. Significant differences in the following perceptions were observed for “Besides makoto and Christian prayers there are other common rainmaking practices practiced in Chimanimani District” (p < 0.05). Similar results were observed with regard to “I believe indigenous and western knowledge of rainmaking can complement each other” (P < 0.001), and “There is increase in pests and plant diseases than before” (P < 0.01). Components of indigenous rain making v identified in the current study included rain making ceremonies (makoto), which entailed use of beer, sacrificial bird (normally a cock) and natural resources conservation such as keeping places for local rain making rituals sacred (zvitenguro), not destroying very big trees for example fig tree (muonde: Ficus capensis), mukute (Syzygium cordatum) and others, and treating forests as sacred. With respect to the negative effects of climate change, a highly significant difference was observed for duration of stay in relation to, “There is now a high risk in planting winter wheat due to changes in climate” (P < 0.01); “Wetlands are disappearing in our area” (P < 0.01); “There is general reduction in yields due to climate change” (P < 0.001) and “We are experiencing scarcity of water for domestic animals and for household use” (P < 0.05). Lastly, highly significant relationships between “Rivers are drying up in our area” and education (P < 0.01) and duration of stay (P < 0.001). Methods used to disseminate indigenous knowledge of rain making were said to be ineffective. Information was being passed on through oral means. It was indicated that better use of modern technology and social media, in particular radio, television, Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook might enhance people’s knowledge on indigenous rain making. By so doing, the perception that indigenous rain making was merely history and not knowledge that can be used in people’s daily lives would be eliminated. Furthermore, current strategies utilized to combat the negative effects of climate change were reported to be unsustainable. Among these were reliance on harvesting wild fruits for sale and hunting. Human activities such as veld fires, deforestation and over harvesting of wildlife were viewed in negative light with respect to combating negative effects of climate change. It was proposed that communities should revert to respecting traditional beliefs of conserving forests. This said to be key in normalizing climate, attracting back the birds and animals that used to be key in weather forecasting. Replanting and indiscriminate cutting of trees along rivers as effective prevention of stream bank cultivation were proposed. Re-introduction of heavy fines by traditional leadership was suggested as a tried and tested strategy that was no longer being applied when implementing conservation initiatives. The observation made in this study that western science and indigenous rain making practices were similar in many respects, suggested that these were opportunities that could be used to anchor strategies for integrating them. In addition to this, the need for establishing collective deliberation or interface platforms coupled with continuous communication and careful management of intellectual property was obvious. en_US
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiii, 157 leaves : color illustrations, color maps)
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights University of Venda
dc.subject Climate change en_US
dc.subject Combat en_US
dc.subject Rain making en_US
dc.subject Indigenous knowledge en_US
dc.subject Strategies en_US
dc.subject.ddc 398.26096891
dc.subject.lcsh Rain dances -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Rain-making -- Zimbwabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Rain and rainfall -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Weather control -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Rain-making rites -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Precipitation (Meteorology) -- Modifications -- Zimbabwe
dc.subject.lcsh Rain-making -- Religious aspects
dc.title Potential strategies for harnessing indigenous rainmaking practices to combat the negative effects of climate change in Chimamimani District of Zimbabwe en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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