Weather Forecasting Using Local Traditional Knowledge (LTK) in the Midst of Climate Change in Domboshawa, Zimbabwe

  • Vincent Itai TanyanyiwaEmail author
Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)


Climate change is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. The threat it poses has been exacerbated by limited use of indigenous knowledge systems, which are unique to a given culture or society. This is particularly important in developing countries. The uniqueness of indigenous people and their knowledge is inextricably connected to their lands, which are situated primarily at the social-ecological margins of human habitation, such as tropical forests and semi arid margins. It is at these margins that the consequences of climate change manifest themselves in the following domains: agriculture, pastoralism, fishing, hunting and gathering, and other subsistence activities, including access to water. With collective knowledge of the land, sky and sea, indigenous people are excellent observers and interpreters of changes in their environment. Resilience in the face of change is entrenched in indigenous peoples’ knowledge and know-how, diversified resources, livelihoods, social institutions, beliefs, mores, networks, cultural values and attitudes including weather interpretation. Semi-structured interviews were held on community members who are old i.e. Those above 50 years and have lived in the community for more than 10 years. Quantitative comparisons of various indicators in terms of weather forecasting were created in the form of tables. A community’s collectively held knowledge offers critical insights that can complement scientific data. Government policies in emerging economies often limit options and reduce choices, thereby constraining, restricting and undermining indigenous peoples’ efforts to adapt. This restriction may produce counterproductive policies that may lead to increased sedentarisation, restricted access to traditional territories, substitution of traditional livelihoods, impoverished crop or herd diversity, reduced harvesting opportunities and erosion of the transmission of indigenous knowledge, values, attitudes and worldviews. Indigenous knowledge is very important for community-based adaptation and for maintaining mitigating actions in the agricultural sector to promote the resilience of social-ecological systems at the local level.


Adaptation Agriculture Climate change Forecast Indigenous knowledge systems 


  1. Albuquerque UP, da Cunha LVCF, Lucena RFP, Alves RRN (Eds) (2014) Methods and techniques in Ethnobiology and ethnoecology. Humana Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashcroft B, Griffiths G, Tiffin H (1995) The Post-colonial Studies Reader. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Berkes F, Jolly D (2001) Adapting to climate change: social-ecological resilience in a Canadian western Arctic community. Conserv Ecol 5(8).
  4. Berman R, Quinn C, Paavola J (2012) The role of institutions in the transformation of coping capacity to sustainable adaptive capacity. Environ Dev (2):86–100Google Scholar
  5. Chambers R (1996) Who’s reality counts? Putting the first Last. Intermediate Technology, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Chenje M, Sola I, Paleczny D (1998) The state of Zimbabwe’s environment. Government Printer, HarareGoogle Scholar
  7. Dewalt BR (1994) Using indigenous knowledge to improve agriculture and natural resource management. Hum Organ 53(2):123–131Google Scholar
  8. Goromonzi Rural District Council (1996) Goromonzi Rural District Council Economic survey Report. Ruwa, GoromonziGoogle Scholar
  9. Grenier L (1998) Working with indigenous knowledge: a guide for researchers. IDRC, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  10. Huntington HP (2000) Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: methods and applications. Ecol Appl 10:1270–1274. doi: 10.1890/1051-0761(2000)010[1270:UTEKIS]2.0.CO;2
  11. International Council for Science (2002) ICSU Series on science for sustainable development no 4: science traditional knowledge and sustainable development, p 24Google Scholar
  12. Kumar R (2010) Research methodology: a step-by-step guide for beginners. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  13. Makwara EC (2013) Indigenous knowledge systems and modern weather forecasting: exploring the linkages. J Agric Sustain 2(1): 98–141Google Scholar
  14. Mapara J (2009) Indigenous knowledge systems in Zimbabwe: juxtaposing postcolonial theory. J Pan Afr Stud 3(1)Google Scholar
  15. Mararike CG (1999) Survival strategies in rural Zimbabwe: the role of assets, indigenous knowledge, and organisations. Mond Books, HarareGoogle Scholar
  16. Mashonaland East Provincial Census Report (2012) ZimStat, Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency, Harare, ZimbabweGoogle Scholar
  17. Meteorological Services Department (2012) 2012 Seasonal forecast. Meteorological Services Department, Harare, ZimbabweGoogle Scholar
  18. Nyong A, Adesina F, Osman E (2007) The value of indigenous knowledge in climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in the African Sahel. Mitig Adapt Strateg Glob Chang 12:787–797Google Scholar
  19. Risiro JD, Mashoko D, Tshuma T, Rurinda E (2012) Weather forecasting and indigenous knowledge systems in Chimanimani district of Manicaland, Zimbabwe. J Emerg Trends Educ Res Policy Stud 3(4):561–566Google Scholar
  20. Shoko K (2012) Indigenous weather forecasting systems: a case study of the biotic weather forecasting indicators for wards 12 and 13 in Mberengwa district Zimbabwe. J Sustain Dev 14(2): 92–114Google Scholar
  21. Shoko K, Shoko N (2011) A comparative analysis of perception levels of accuracy for indigenous weather forecasts and meteorological forecasts: the case of wards 13 and 15, Mberengwa district, Zimbabwe. The Dyke 5(1):174–188Google Scholar
  22. Vincent V, Thomas RG (1960) An agricultural survey of Southern Rhodesia: Part I: Agro-ecological survey. Government Printers, and SalisburyGoogle Scholar
  23. Tatira L (2000) The role of Zviera in Socialisation. In E Chiwome, Z Mguni, Z, Furusa M (eds) Indigenous knowledge in Africa and Diaspora communities. University of Zimbabwe Publications, Harare, pp 146–151Google Scholar
  24. Thrupp LA (1998) Legitimizing local knowledge: from displacement to empowerment for third world people. Agric Hum Values (Summer issue): 13–24Google Scholar
  25. Viswanathan S (2005) Competing across technology-differentiated channels: the impact of network externalities and switching costs. Manag Sci 51(3):483–496Google Scholar
  26. Unganai LS (1996) Historic and future climate in Zimbabwe. Climate research 6 137-145. Drought Monitoring Centre. Belvedere, Harare, ZimbabweGoogle Scholar
  27. UNEP (2000) Global environment outlook, 2000. Nairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography & Environmental Studies. Faculty of Science & TechnologyZimbabwe Open UniversityMt Pleasant HarareZimbabwe

Personalised recommendations