Ecohealth Approach to Flood Recession Farming in Okavango Delta, Botswana

In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, flood-recession farming (molapu) is a lucrative but highly risky farming practice. The relatively more fertile and heavier soils of the molapu basins retain moisture and nutrients better than dryland areas, making molapu farming more productive. However, hydrological processes vary seasonally, annually and from decade to decade, with some years experiencing destructive floods and others prolonged droughts. Moreover, some practices involved in molapu farming may pose a threat to the integrity of this important wetland system and, in turn, its long-term sustainability.

This grant will allow researchers to address the impact of climate change and variability on farming practices and associated food security issues in the fragile ecosystem of Okavango Delta. Researchers will investigate any negative environmental impacts of molapu farming practices; determine the level and extent of food (in) security of households engaged in molapo farming; examine the traditional adaptation strategies of molapo farming communities; and identify vulnerable groups within the molapo farming system. They will endeavor to predict flood patterns under different climate change scenarios, and build research capacity and devise policy instruments to enhance food security and improve health in the context of climate change and variability.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, February 25, 2010

End Date

Friday, October 3, 2014


48 months

IDRC Officer

Gasengayire, Francois

Total funding

CA$ 600,000


Botswana, North of Sahara, South of Sahara


Food, Environment, and Health

Project Leader

Prof. John Moses Chimbari

Project Leader

Dr. Laplongang Magole


University of Botswana

Institution Country


Institution Website