LAND AND WATER DISCUSSION PAPER 4

LAND AND WATER DISCUSSION PAPER 4

Drought impact mitigation and prevention in the Limpopo River Basin

A situation analysis

Prepared by the
FAO Subregional Office for Southern and East Africa Harare


FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 2004
 
Table of Contents

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Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgements

List of acronyms

1. Drought and climate variability in the Limpopo River Basin

Introduction
Calls for action

Global
Africa
The role of FAO in drought and desertification control

Managing the impacts of drought

Definitions of drought
Occurrence of drought

Impacts of drought in southern Africa

Macroeconomic impacts
Drought management in the programming cycle

2. Biophysical characteristics

Introduction
Climate

Classification of the climate of the Limpopo River Basin
Rainfall
Evaporation
Temperature
Relative humidity
Variation in rainfall and impact on growing season
Reliability of climate forecasts
Long-term temperature trends

Physiography

Geology
Cycles of geological erosion
Physiographic description and mapping
Synthesis of the physiography of the Limpopo River Basin

Soil resources

Regional overview
Status of soil mapping in the four basin countries
Soil classification and correlation
Major soil units of the Limpopo River Basin
Problem soils and environmental aspects
Resilience and sensitivity of soils in relation to erosion and drought

Water resources

Surface water resources
Groundwater resources
Interbasin and intrabasin water transfers

Land and vegetation classification and assessment

Agro-ecological zoning and land evaluation
Land cover and vegetation classification

Other resources

Economic geology and minerals
Fish resources

Land degradation and desertification

Main types of erosion and land degradation
Physical factors
Assessment of erosion and land degradation in the Limpopo River Basin

3. Social, economic and policy environment

Social and economic characteristics

Population characteristics

HIV/AIDS

Human development and poverty
Livelihoods and food security

Land tenure, land use and farming systems

Land tenure
Land use and farming systems
Irrigation development
Forestry
Other land use systems and activities
Conservation areas

Relevant drought and water policies and strategies

Drought policies and strategies
Water policies and strategies in the SADC region

Institutions and services

SADC drought-related structures and services
The CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food
National institutions

4. Learning to live with drought and climate variability

Examples of existing programmes and practices

Drought response programmes
Water and soil conservation and management programmes
Crop production and diversification programmes
Animal production and health programmes
Forestry and agroforestry programmes
Nature conservation and tourism

What has been learned
Options and strategies for sustainable development

Livestock and range development
Appropriate crops and production technologies for rainfed areas
Revitalization of irrigation
Catchment management as a tool in drought mitigation
Reducing household vulnerability to drought
Exploring opportunities for wildlife development and tourism

Issues to consider

Policy-related issues
Community involvement
Institutional issues
Technology and training

References

Back cover