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Indigenous methods used in rainfall forecasting, the case study of communities in ward 18 of Fort Rixon, Zimbabwe

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Zimbabwe Open University. Box 346, Gwanda, Zimbabwe

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 8, Issue (4), Pages 52-60, October,22 (2019)


The aim of the study was to determine the different indigenous methods used to forecast rainfall and then rank the different forecasting methods. The acceptability of the forecasting methods by the different age groups in the community was also assessed. A random sample of 42 households out of a population of 410 households in Ward 18 of Fort Rixon was done and family members were interviewed using an interview guide. Youths and elders were also engaged in focus group discussions. Observation of fruit trees used to predict rainfall amounts was also done. The major indicators for the onset of rains are the direction of the winds, flowering of certain plants, movement of migratory birds, and behavior of insects. The prediction of the amount of rainfall is based on the amount of fruits produced by different fruit trees, the amount of butterflies and their direction of flight, and the amount and intensity of whirlwinds. The majority of the community 70% rely on the traditional methods of forecasting rainfall, 25% rely on both and 5% rely more on the meteorological department forecasts. There was no relationship between age and the method of forecasting used. The majority of Fort Rixon community members rely on traditional methods of forecasting to plan for their agricultural activities.


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