Gilbert Mavuka has lived in Chilijemalo village in Malawi since he was born forty years ago. Over the last decade he has seen dramatic changes in the weather with frequent floods and droughts, strange infestations of disease, and declines in his farm output.
The pace of change often exceeds the local capacity to develop new land-use practices that support both the natural resources and the welfare of the people. From 2001 to 2007, there were dry spells. In 2003, there was a humanitarian crisis due to drought.
“In 2003, the whole village was hit by erratic rainfall that caused hunger in many homes including mine,” said Mr Mavuka.
Caritas Malawi (CADECOM) helps people like Mr Mavuka with the impact of what it believes is climate change, drawing on support from Caritas Netherlands (Cordaid) and others. He learned irrigation and planting techniques and how to make compost. “I can grow three times what I produced before,” he said.