Stories written by Ignatius Banda

Zimbabwe’s Family Planning Dilemma

Pregnant at 15, Samantha Yakubu* is in a fix. The 16-year-old boy she claims was responsible for her pregnancy has refused to accept her version of events, insisting that he was “not the only one who slept with her”.

Legislation Alone Will Not Address Africa’s Climate Challenges

Despite a raft of legislation dealing with the environment, African countries are still falling short when it comes to enforcing the legal instruments that respond to challenges posed by climate change, researchers say. 

Zimbabwe’s Urban Farmers Combat Food Insecurity — But it’s Illegal

It is harvest season in Zimbabwe and Janet Zondo is pressed to find space on the piece of land she is farming to erect a makeshift granary. Zando says she could very well build a miniature silo, judging by the size of the maize crop that she is preparing to harvest.

Drug-Shunning Patients Could Derail Zimbabwe’s AIDS Plan

Each month, scores of people living with HIV gather at Mpilo's Opportunistic Infections Clinic in Bulawayo for free antiretroviral medication that has improved their lives.

ARV Intolerance – A Growing Problem for AIDS Treatment in Africa

New research suggests that some AIDS patients are developing drug intolerance and severe side effects and will now have to switch to new, more expensive antiretroviral regimens.

Zimbabwe’s Politics – Out with the Old, in with the New

As Zimbabwe’s young politicians increase their demands to be allowed to play a greater role in the running of the country, analysts say that this could signal a change in youth voter apathy in the upcoming elections.   

Water, Water Everywhere – and No Early Warning in Sight

Muzeka Muyeyekwa from Mapfekera Village in Zimbabwe’s  Manicaland Province wonders what he will feed his three children for lunch.

Female subsistence farmers, who form more than 70 percent of farmers on the continent, remain clueless about climate change issues.  Credit: Busani Bafana

Nothing to Show for Hard Work but Burnt Fields of Maize

Gertrude Mkoloi earns a living harvesting maize on a small piece of land in rural Zimbabwe. Or at least she used to.

The Mopani worm is the protein-rich caterpillar of the Emperor moth, which can supplement any diet.  Credit: Ignatius Banda/IPS

Zimbabwe’s Mopani Worms Disappearing from Rural Diets

Job Mthombeni loves traditional food. One of his favourite culinary delights is Mopani worms, referred to locally as amacimbi, which means caterpillar in Ndebele. At an early age he understood the nutritional value of the worm, which is found in his rural hometown of Plumtree, in southwestern Zimbabwe.

Women in rural Zimbabwe are coming up with solutions to water shortages aggravated by climate change. Credit: Ignatius Banda/IPS

ZIMBABWE: Farmers Tackle Water Problems Fuelled by Climate Change

Beauty Moyo’s desire for access to water has finally been met. The rains that fell in the past week after a long dry patch have awakened this small-holder farmer deep in rural Plumtree, Zimbabwe on the border with Botswana to the reality of sparse rainfall, climate change and how she and her fellow villagers can respond.

ZIMBABWE: Farmers Tackle Water Problems Fuelled by Climate Change

Beauty Moyo’s desire for access to water has finally been met. The rains that fell in the past week after a long dry patch have awakened this small-holder farmer deep in rural Plumtree, Zimbabwe on the border with Botswana to the reality of sparse rainfall, climate change and how she and her fellow villagers can respond.

ZIMBABAWE: Not Prepared for Floods Amid Conflicting Weather Forecasts

Sibongile Dube knows the devastation heavy rain can leave in its wake. A villager in the lowveld area of Mberengwa in Zimbabwe’s Midlands province, Dube’s home is one of many that were washed away by flash floods last year.

ZIMBABWE: To Yuan or Not to Yuan, That is the Question

From downtown shops that stock cheap clothing and shoes that fall apart after one wear, to mining concessions in platinum, gold and diamonds - the Chinese finger is now in virtually every Zimbabwean pie.

Woe Betide the Return of the Zimbabwean Dollar

Tinashe Zuze’s story is a typical one of Zimbabwe’s professionals who have shunned formal employment. Instead of working for someone else, Zuze left his job as a bank teller and entered into the world of "wheeling and dealing" in illegal foreign currency.

ZIMBABWE: Microcredit Aggravates ‘January Disease’

Thomas Dlakama has experienced what he calls "January disease" all his working life. This phenomenon afflicts millions in Zimbabwe, and its symptoms include an empty purse, rising blood pressure among irascible breadwinners, and a general inexplicable hope of manna from heaven.

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