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2011 (Vol. 3, Issue: 4)
Article Information:

Application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Hydrological Disaster Management in Swaziland

A.M. Manyatsi
Corresponding Author:  Absalom Manyatsi 

Key words:  Drought, floods, hydrological disasters, indigenous knowledge systems, lightning, ,
Vol. 3 , (4): 353-357
Submitted Accepted Published
2011 May, 27 2011 July, 02 2011 July, 30

The hydrological disasters facing Swaziland include persistent drought, erratic rains, occasional floods and devastating lightning during rainy seasons. The purpose of the study was to document indigenous knowledge systems that were applicable in hydrological disaster management in Swaziland. Information on indigenous methods that were used to manage hydrological disasters was collected from review of literature and focus group discussions that were conducted at Ntndozi area in Swaziland. A variety of methods were employed to predict weather, based mainly on environmental cues and behavior of animals. The nesting position of the Ploceus spp bird was used for prediction of floods. The cry of Cuculus solitarius bird signaled the start of the wet season between the period of August and November, and farmers started assembling their farming inputs upon hearing its cry. The abundance of butterflies, locusts and grasshoppers during farming season was taken as a sign of imminent drought. Indigenous methods used to prevent natural disasters included taking refuge under the Kigelia africana tree during lightning. It was believed that the tree is immune from lightning strikes. One was to avoid sitting under certain trees during lightning as they were known to be prone to lightning. They include Sclerocarya birrea, Ficus africana and Vangueria esculenta. The mitigation and coping mechanisms for hydrological disasters included traditional methods of storing food during periods of good harvests, selection of crops that were tolerant to drought and the use of indigenous fruits and vegetables.
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  Cite this Reference:
A.M. Manyatsi, 2011. Application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Hydrological Disaster Management in Swaziland.  Current Research Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4): 353-357.
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ISSN (Online):  2041-3246
ISSN (Print):   2041-3238
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