Indigenous Weather Forecasting Systems: A Case Study of the Abiotic Weather Forecasting Indicators for Wards 12 and 13 in Mberengwa District Zimbabwe

  •  Kampion Shoko    
  •  Nothabo Shoko    


Residents of wards 12 and 13 in Mberengwa depend on agriculture as a source of livelihood. They have since developed their own indigenous weather forecasting systems which they have been using in conjunction with meteorological weather forecasts in the planning and execution of their agricultural activities. These systems are used singularly or are complimented with the conventional meteorological forecast from the Meteorological Services Department. The main objective of this research was to identify the abiotic weather forecasting indicators as well as to acquire information on how they are used. Questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews with key informants were used to collect the data. Key informants were those whose time of residence in the wards was more than 50 years. Investigations revealed that the residents rely mostly on environmental indicators for planning agricultural activities. Results showed that of the two categories of indigenous abiotic weather forecasting indicators, weather forecasts derived from weather indicators were the mostly used followed by forecasts derived from celestial indicators. There were however differences on the interpretations of the behavioural signs or indicators which were used in the production of the forecasts from these abiotic factors.The study recommends that further research should be carried out on the application and on the statistical evaluation of the precision of the indigenous forecasts. Attempts should also be made to document the abiotic weather indicators and the behavioural signs from which these forecasts are derived. The establishment of an effective indigenous weather forecasting system as part of a decision support system would go a long way in improving food security for this area.

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