George Kasali talks about adaptive capacity in a Zambian project, where maize and cattle are the main livelihood options.

The climatic hazards are drought, floods, heat and shortening of the rainy season. And the future is bleak, with more floods and drought expected.

If that occurs, total destsitution looms, with people left dependent on outside help.

The barriers to adaptation are degraded soils, as a result of imported European technologies.  What was the bread basket of Zambia, through abuse, and people suffer a four-month "hunger season". You can't survive on rocks, when your soil is degraded.

Absence of credit is also a problem, and people claim that when help comes through projects the assistance dries up when the project ends.

Top-down projects with one-jacket-fits-all are unhelpful, leading to loss of self-reliance and creativity.

On the positive side, kinship networks of friends and clansmen ("When you fire an African you are firing 20 others"), better access to land - "land is there, land is assured"), and indigenous knowledge.

People depend on weather forecasts, but there are few weather stations, but people interpret insect populations to forecast drought and other climatic conditions.

All these problems can be rectified, .

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