Greener Journal of Social Sciences

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Anyway and Lizias

Greener Journal of  Social Sciences Vol. 4 (2), pp. 078-094, February 2014

  ISSN: 2276-7800 © 2011 GJSS

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 0204144091


“Indigenous Knowledge Systems: Call for Institutional and Policy Changes”. The Case of Dande Valley in Zimbabwe


*1Katanha Anyway, 2Kadziya Lizias


1Zimbabwe Open University, Lecturer: Geography and Environmental Science Department.

2Zimbabwe Open University, Quality assurance coordinator: Quality Assurance Department.Zimbabwe Open University, 209 Hay Road Bindura.


*Corresponding Author’s Email: akatanhaa @ gmail. com, Tel: +263 773445 226


Purpose: Indigenous knowledge Systems is a discipline that has received acknowledgement even from United Nations forums. However, the discussion of Indigenous Knowledge Systems practiced in the Dande valley of Zimbabwe is still hazy and unclear and the concerned citizens like academics ,call for an institutional and policy change has been ignored. Though there has been a ministry of Science and technology in Zimbabwe, its focus was mainly on modern science, even though indigenous knowledge was mentioned ,evidence on the ground shows that indigenous knowledge was given very little consideration. It is also the thrust of this paper to point into perspective the adaptive measures taken by the Dande community against climate change using Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). Issues discussed focused on the role of IKS on plant phenology, health and risk reduction, food and security, art natural resource management as they are understood in the Climate change discourse.

Research Design: The study was conducted in the Dande Valley of Zimbabwe which consists of 3 districts of Mashonaland Central Province namely; Mbire, Mount Darwin and Muzarabani. Data for this study were solicited through structured interviews, interviews with indigenous experts, traditional leaders, members of the Dande community; focus group discussion was also used to manipulate the community perception, current practices on adaption to climate change. Information on IKS and climate change was gathered through the participatory approach. The strength in this approach lies in the fact that it involves documenting of real events, recording what people say and observing behaviour.`

Findings: Results from the study revealed that many scholars and some academics have a negative attitude towards IKS; however information gathered proved that IKS plays an important role in the Dande community. IKS adaptive strategies against climate change are based on environmental issues like, plant phenology, health and health, and natural resources management. The study established that there is every reason for policy change and implementation in Zimbabwe . To ensure sustainability of the IKS ,the study suggests that institutes of higher learning like Bindura University of Science Education and the Zimbabwe Open University to devise supportive systems that enable collection, analysis, storage information and dissemination of IKS information through a Meta Data base focusing on Dande Valley and other parts of the country rich in indigenous knowledge.

Originality/Value: This study will add to the knowledge base of IKS and climate change in fragile environments and of particular note the Dande Valley in Zimbabwe. The study will also enlighten and provide information to policy makers, researchers, academics and general citizens to make informed decisions. It will also help all interested stakeholders to think seriously on IKS and climate change discourse.

Keywords: climate change, Indigenous Knowledge System, plant phenology, policy.

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