Zimbabwe has many problems: corruption, political and economic isolation, years of government mismanagement. But not least among them is the impact of climate change leading to acute drought, for which Zimbabwe cannot be blamed since its emissions of greenhouse gases is very small.
Climate change impacts in Zimbabwe are related to water supply and food security. The country is already prone to droughts, which have become more recurrent over the last two decades. The geographical location of Zimbabwe in the tropics makes it vulnerable to shifting rainfall patterns, and water resources availability. Zimbabwe is also vulnerable to climate driven health impacts from vector borne diseases such as malaria worsened by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Adaptation measures to address climate change impacts are thus required to reduce impact in key economic sectors, especially agriculture.
While Zimbabwe’s contribution to global emissions of GHG is very small, there is growing concern over the potential impacts of climate change on the country in the future. Given the heavy dependence of the country on rain-fed agriculture, absence of natural lakes, frequent occurrence of droughts in the region and a growing population, the potential social and economic impacts from climate change could be devastating.
Those who wish to offset the effects of their own greenhouse gas emissions might want to consider contributing to one of the organizations working to help Zimbabwe overcome the problems caused by the climate. Finding a charity that works there specifically is difficult. So far we have found the following:
The British Red Cross is committed to helping end chronic hunger in Africa. Working with the Zimbabwe Red Cross, together they reach 5,000 people in two districts where drought makes it hard to grow enough food. More information here. Donate here.
International Rescue Committee
Save the Children