Sinethemba Peter (South Africa) 1
1 - Prof Nel and Dr Zhou
This study analyses long term rainfall changes in Makanda (Grahamstown), its Implications, impacts and adaptation strategies. The study shows current and decadal rainfall changes scenarios for Grahamstown, analyses the relationship between Long-term rainfall changes scenarios and water challenges then prescribe adaptive measures to these rainfall changes. Historical Rainfall data (1900–2011) from South African Weather Services and qualitative data from Makana Local Municipality, Department of Agriculture and Department of Water and Sanitation were used. A questionnaire survey was also conducted to gather residence’s perceptions on Long term rainfall changes in addition two focus group discussions were held with selected farmers and government officials in the Makana Local Municipality.
The results showed evidence of Long term rainfall changes through analysis of rainfall data and communities perceptions. Evidence was manifested through the increasing frequency of droughts, dry spells and the shifts of the rainfall season. It was the concluded that long term rainfall change occurring in Grahamstown has resulted in significant decline in dam levels, water access and crop production. The people’s perceptions shows that the crop growing seasons are becoming shorter, rainfall amounts are declining and mid season droughts are also occurring more frequently. The lessons learnt mean that people are aware of Long term rainfall change and its impacts on water availability and crop production but lack the means to adapt to these changes.