Stories written by Ignatius Banda

Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity

Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. "The situation is terrible," said Nleya, who owns a plot in Douglasdale, a small farming community on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe: Poverty Stunting Minds and Growth

Mildren Ndlovu* knows the mental toll of Zimbabwe's long-drawn economic hardships in a country where a long rehashed statistic by labour unions puts unemployment at 90 per cent.

Weak Agriculture Finance Feeds Malnutrition in Zimbabwe

Successive poor harvests have diminished Ndodana Makhalima's household food stocks and the family’s nutrition status.

A subsistence farmer in Lupane, about 110 kilometres north of Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, 56 year-old Makhalima has learnt to live with hunger on his door step.

Zimbabwe’s Long Road in Ending Poverty and Hunger

Noel Bhizori has a permanent post at a traffic light in Bulawayo’s central business district where he sells mobile phone recharge cards at a busy intersection.

Zimbabwe’s Mega Dam Project Could Flounder in the Face of Climate Change

Zimbabwe's planned Batoka Gorge power project on the Zambezi River is expected to generate 2,400 megawatts (MW) of electricity, upward from an initial 1,600 MW, but the worsening power cuts that are being blamed on low water levels have renewed concerns about the effects of climate change on mega dams.

Zimbabwe’s Forest Carbon Programme Not All It Seems

The efficacy of attempts to sustainably manage forests and conserve and enhance forest carbon stocks in Zimbabwe is increasingly coming under scrutiny as new research warns that the politics of access and control over forests and their carbon is challenging conventional understanding.

Zimbabwe’s Climate Change Ambitions May be Too Tall

With the U.N. Climate Change conference later this year in Paris fast approaching, Zimbabwe's climate change commitments face the slow progress on an issue that continues to stalk other developing countries – climate finance.

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.

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