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MAINSTREAMING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
SHORT EXERCISE
Looking at the graph of rainfall for Bulawayo ask participants in pairs to quickly
work out the chance of Bulawayo next season having more than 800mm of
rainfall
Explain how this can be done
We can:
1) count how many years on the graph there has been more than 800mm in the
past; then
2) count how many years are covered by the graph; then
3) put the number of years there were more than 800mm over the number of
years covered by the graph.
Ask for some answers and then explain...
For our example this would be 4 years (years with more than 800mm) over 40
years. You can use a ruler or any straight edge to get the correct readings. This
is 4/40. We can simplify this to ¼. So there is a ¼ chance or 25% chance (or
probability) of the next season having more than 800mm rainfall in Bulawayo.
We have found that if given the graphs and explanations, non literate and semi-
literate smallholder farmers found it useful to work these probabilities out
themselves.
SLIDE 6 COMMUNICATING PROBABILITIES (AVOIDING
POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDINGS)
But there can be misunderstandings about what they mean ......
e.g. If the probability of a low rainfall year is 1 in 3 .... and we
have had 2 years of normal / good rainfall,
does it mean that the next year will have low rainfall?
If not, what is the probability of the next year having low
rainfall?
A Training Manual on Use of Climate Information and Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for
Agricultural Extension Staff in Zimbabwe
Page 53