FACT Zimbabwe is implementing a PEPFAR/USAID-funded five-year SPACE for OVC (Sustaining Prevention and Increasing Access to Care and Empowerment for Orphans and Vulnerable Children) program targeting 69,087 OVC and their caregivers in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. The program aims to improve health, safety, education, and stability outcomes for orphans and vulnerable children, adolescents, and youth (CAY) most at risk for HIV in Zimbabwe.
The SPACE for OVC program carried out participatory Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments (CCVA) in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces. The study explored contextual climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptive capacity among OVCs most at risk of HIV. The assessments aimed to identify climate change impacts and the adaptive capacity of OVC across four program domains: health; household economic stability, education, and safety and contextual adaptation in sync with the PEPFAR strategy on sustaining the HIV response and building transformative partnerships.
Primary data was collected through focus-group discussions among 585 participants most at risk of HIV in the following groups: 1) In-school OVC 5-15 years, 2) In-school OVC 15–17 years and out-of-school adolescents and youth 15-24 years, 3) Caregivers of OVC, including those living with HIV, 4) and traditional leaders and village elders. 51 key informant interviews were held with key participants from various government departments. Thirteen wards from the seven districts (Chipinge, Makoni, Mutare, Chiredzi, Chivi, Gutu and Masvingo) were targeted through bio-climatic clustering to ensure all agro-ecological zones, urban and rural were represented. Secondary data was collected from Zimbabwe’s National Climate Change Response Strategy. Zimbabwe Initial Adaptation Communication to the UNFCCC, Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee, Rural Livelihoods Assessment Reports, USAID Climate Risk Profile: Zimbabwe, World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal.
Cyclones, droughts, and heat waves were identified as the most common and impactful hazards on OVC health, safety, schooling, and stability. These hazards are increasing in intensity and frequency across Manicaland and Masvingo provinces.