Planning for Change

Crop Farming

Land preparation:

  • Roughen the soil surface to minimize evaporation

Crop choice and planting:

  • Choose suitable cultivars as a precautionary measure (e.g., those with broader leaves, hardier etc.)
  • Follow the weather and climate forecast regularly to decide on when to plant
  • Stagger planting – spread over weeks
  • Always practice crop rotation

Crop management:

  • Practise mulching to minimise evaporation (placing organic matter over soil)
  • Control weeds regularly
  • During drought do not over- fertilize
  • Use organic fertilizer
  • Irrigate during cool conditions to avoid water loss
  • Adhere to the water restrictions when issued

Livestock Farming

  • Match animal size, numbers and grazing area
  • Avoid overstocking, control your stock to suit your camps and availability of feed
  • Force animals to use rangeland before providing other feed and postpone mating period during drought
  • Eradicate invader plants
  • First graze areas where vegetation already shed leaves
  • Plant hardy trees/shrubs for browse
  • Keep well adapted breeds of livestock
  • Wean early and raise young animals intensively
  • Market surplus stocks and always cull poor producers to save feed resources
  • Maintain young best females
  • Feed pregnant and lactating animals better

Source: Dept of Agriculture


Fire Control

  • Ensure that firebreaks are in place. An owner of the land must prepare and maintain a firebreak (chapter 4 of National Veld and Forest Fire Act No. 101 of 1998)
  • Farming communities should establish fire protection associations to prevent and control veld fires as required by National Veld and Forest Fire Act (Act No. 101 of 1998).

Flood Control

  • Ensure a proper drainage system – silted and blocked drains must be cleaned constantly to ensure proper water irrigation
  • Wetlands play a crucial role in flood control. The construction of levees and dams on rivers to improve flood control has often had the reverse effect. . Flood-plain restoration and the removal of obstruction partly solved the problem in many countries
  • Develop a flood monitoring system that uses a church bell to warn communities of coming floods. Every town has a church so this low cost intervention could help people prepare


Municipal Services

  • Incentives: such as rebates for ratepayers and businesses that install rainwater tanks, re-use their grey water and install low-flush toilets
  • Regulations: building regulations that require all new buildings be equipped with water-saving devices such as low-flush toilets and rainwater tanks
  • Water harvesting: the installation of rainwater tanks in homes and commercial buildings for use in gardens, swimming pools and sewage
  • Modification of catchment vegetation: the Working for Water Programme aims to remove water-thirsty invasive alien tree species (wattle, pine etc.) from catchments in South Africa
  • Ensure ongoing monitoring and warning of impending disaster risks, with the help of the provincial weather and hydrological monitoring stations
  • Reducing the impacts of these natural hazards through infrastructural means, such as flood detention ponds and weirs
  • Ongoing maintenance of stormwater drains to clear them of sand build-up and rubbish

(Source: Mukheibir, P. and Ziervogel, G., 2007)