Addressing El Nino's induced drought in Zimbabwe and Lesotho

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5 minutes 14 seconds
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ID: 24551
Original Filename: ElninoResponseZimbabweLesotho.mp4
Title: Addressing El Nino's induced drought in Zimbabwe and Lesotho

One of the strongest El Niño events ever witnessed left more than 60 million people worldwide food insecure, as large swathes of otherwise productive land, lay barren. FAO worked closely with other stakeholders and the government in countries like Zimbabwe and Lesotho to train farmers in addressing the drought.

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License type: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO
Credit: FAO
Country: Zimbabwe
Size (cm): 560.28 MB; 1920 x 1080 pixels; 5 minutes 14 seconds;
Orientation: Landscape
Date Created: 02/02/2018 12:59:49

Few would believe that less than a year ago, this part of the world was in the grip of an intense drought, driven by one of the strongest El Niño events ever witnessed. More than 60 million people worldwide were rendered food insecure, as large swathes of otherwise productive land, lay barren. This is the story of Dolly Dube, a livestock farmer, who recalls how the drought led to severe water scarcity, poor veld quality and limited pasture availability. Many animals died, and those that barely made it, were in terrible condition. Having witnessed the consequences of the drought first hand, Dolly was inspired to play a role in the district animal health system to save animal lives. Dolly now volunteers as a ParaVet. She was trained by government extension agents with the support FAO’s emergency and resilience – building programme for Southern Africa. Dolly gets her drugs from Animal Health Management Centers that have now been equipped with solar systems to manage the cold chain facilities ensuring that vaccines and drugs are stored in optimum conditions. She also gives basic tips to fellow farmers on how to take care of their livestock and prevent death. Given the magnitude of the crisis across multiple countries, timely and coordinated support was crucial in assisting vulnerable families to restore agricultural production and regain their livelihoods. FAO worked closely with other stakeholders and the government departments in countries that were hardest hit by the drought such as Lesotho. However, due to the early interventions, farmers such as Phomolo Thinyane who lives with his 86 year old mother and two adopted sons are looking forward to a good harvest this year. Phomolo received seed and fertilizer together with training in innovative conservation agriculture techniques. Emergency response such as that received by Phomolo was also crucial in averting protracted relief operations and increased long term vulnerability, which can also lead to migration as income and labor opportunities cease to exist. Climatic patterns are evolving as cyclic droughts, floods and cyclones become more intense and frequent, globally, hampering efforts to achieve Zero hunger and consequently Zero poverty. But the inspiring stories of Dolly and Phomolo show that with timely planning and coordinated and early response, communities can once again thrive as they become more resilient to future crises.


LOCATIONS: Zimbabwe: Matabeleland South Province, Plumtree village

    Lesotho: Leribe District

DATE: July 2017

AUDIO: Natural, Ndebele, Sesotho, English


1. WS child writing on the ground

2. WS woman walking outside a household and a child running towards her

3. Woman walking in front of a cattle pen

4. WS of women walking and cattle grazing

5. Woman looking on

6. Cattle standing close to a water source

7. Visual of planet earth and inscription 60 billion people worldwide, food insecure. 

8. Landscape and a man walking

9. WS of man and women getting out of a house

10. CU of animal remains

11. Cow in a field

12. CU cow

13. SOT Dolly Dube, Livestock farmer and Paravet (Ndebele):

I love rearing goats, but I lost most of them during the drought. / So I decided to get training in order to save my livestock. / Since that training, I have realized that my goats are no longer dying.


14. Aerial shots of mountainous landscape

15. Sheep walking across frame and a man looking on

16. Woman in a maize field harvesting maize from the stalk

17. Signpost of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security

18. Aerial shot of residential area

19. Car moving along the road in a towards a residential area

20. Man standing and a woman seated outside their house 

21. Man carrying sacks walking towards a maize field

22. Lady seated outside the house

23. Children walking towards a man standing close to a maize field

24. CU two children in a maize field harvesting maize

25. Person holding a package of seeds from FAO

26. People gathered in front of a building

27. People looking at a booklet during a meeting

28. People looking at a picture while a lady is demonstrating to them

29. Man illustrating viewpoints to two children while standing in a field

30. SOT Phomolo Thinyane – Farmer (Sesotho) (starts off screen)

I planted the grazing vetch between the lines of maize because it conserves moisture in the soil. / But most importantly, also I can use it as fodder for my livestock.

31. Graphic of weather forecast 

32. SOT David Phiri – FAO Subregional coordinator Southern Africa (English)

You need to inform early, plan early and respond early, and also respond in unison. 

33. Two children: one riding a bicycle and the other running



1. Woman walking towards the frame

2. Woman walking across the frame

3. People shaking hands in front of a cattle pen

4. Ladies shaking hands while a man looks on

5. Man holding a bottle of chemical with ladies looking on

6. Woman shaking a bottle while holding a syringe

7. Woman drawing a drug from a bottle using a syringe

8. Calf being vaccinated

9. Woman standing beside a cattle pan

10. Woman putting vaccines on a shelf

11. Calf eating

12. Group of cattle feeding

13. Goats drinking


14. WS of a homestead

15. CU of a person holding a maize cob

16. Man and two children carrying sacks of maize

17. Man and two children entering their homestead 

18. Man and two children emptying maize sacks

19. Woman and man removing maize grain from the cob

20. Man and two children reading a paper

21. CU paper with agricultural information

22. CU Man and two children

23. Boy bringing maize stalks to cattle

24. CU cattle feeding on maize stalks

25. Two boys by the cattle, shaking stalks from their huts

26. Vehicles passing by in the sunset