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Friday, 15 January 2010

Climate Change : Zambia Story

A good video for faithful followers of the climate change religion (starring Namugala with a cameo appearance from KK).


  1. Doesn't the creation of Lake Kariba have anything to do with the lack of water AROUND Lake Kariba?

    And could it just be that the rains are staying away, because the trees have gone?

    And this is supposed to be 'climate change' in Zambia.

    There are solutions, other than asking for 'aid' and playing violins. Yuck.

  2. Wow, yes I am not sure what the film was asking for - awareness? Yes, there is a serious situation in many parts of the country with decreased rainfall, but it is also to note that Southern used to be one of the more forested areas of the nation and trees were cut down at an unprecedented rate. I would appreciate in such a film some more connection to what is causing the droughts and floods rather than a call with your said "violins" for outside aid/support. I think that the first step is taking responsibility for the policies and subsidies that contributed to deforestation for so many years and take leadership on the things that Zambia can control. But then again I am always a fan of planting more trees.

  3. I would add, that if the problem is chopping trees for charcoal, then the solution is electrification and getting people off charcoal to heat their homes or their food.

    Or, creating special charcoal tree forests of fast growings species of tree.

    The problem with the documentary is that it is a plea for aid, not an analysis of what caused anything.

  4. I agree with the feeling of the film. I am convinced of the seriousness of the issue certainly, but there are so many other factors at play as you point out. The changes in policy for instance which led to decreased reliance on electricity in Lusaka and increased charcoal production and the promotion of non drought-resistant cash crops. Zambia is a country that I love but has had more aid piled into it than many other nations of its size, and it will be great to move forward with identifying the complex web that has contributed to the environmental challenges that people are facing in order to create a complex solution involving stakes on the rural, tribal, government and policy front to improve the land for future generations.

    If you are interested in commenting Mr. K, I am in the process of evolving an effort to inspire afforestation at the rural level through pairing tree planting with small loans. Always looking for feedback and more can be found at:

    Have a great day!

  5. Hi Sarah,

    I wonder if you are familiar with the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, and his book "The Natural Way Of Farming". I hope you check out all these videos.

    One of his contributions was bringing back the Asian practice of using 'seed dumplings', small balls of clay and compost with seeds in them, that allow seeds to survive drought and predation, and only expose the seeds when the conditions for germination are perfect, after rainfall.

    Also, are you familiar with Geoff Lawton's use of swales to re-hydrate the landscape?

    If these two methods were combined, large parts of any country could be reforested very cheaply.

    All that would have to be done, was rehydrate the landscape by using swales to raise the water table, and use seedballs to quickly regenerate growth.

    Permaculture Seed Balls "The Fukuoka Method

    Permaculture Water Harvesting

    Greening The Desert
    On Lawton's permaculture in Nazareth

    Greening The Desert Revisited
    The follow-up to his successful project.

  6. Wonderful! I will be sure to look at these sites this evening. I was a forestry extension agent in Zambia for several years and have heard of the clay seed balls, but never had any direct experience. I am in a time of re-evaluating the best direction for my organization's evolution so I eat these kinds of educational opportunities up.

    Thank you kindly for the references. :)


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