Dr. Tinashe Takuva

Guestprofessor for Environmental and African History, May 2024

Dr. Tinashe Takuva is a Lecturer in Environmental History at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on environmental, economic and social histories of southern Africa and Zimbabwe in particular in 20th century and explores the interconnectedness of environmental, social, political and economic forces in shaping community relations. He obtained his PhD in History in 2022 from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His thesis research explored the social, environmental and political history of drought in Zimbabwe in teh 20th century.

His more recent works include "The development of Christian Care aid in Zimbabwe: The case of Matabeleland region, 1967-c.1990", published in Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte 68, 2 (2023), p. 96-128.

Dr. Takuva is in Kassel for the month of May 2024. While visiting, he will lead a seminar on "Climate Politics, Colonialism and Agrarian Change in Zimbabwe 1930s to 2000s" and present his research in the Modern History Lecture Series on 27 May at 6:15 pm (Campus Center, room 1111/Seminarroom 2) with a talk entitled "Climate Politics, Weather modification and the society in Zimbabwe, 1940s to 2000s".

Among various indigenous communities in southern Africa, it has always been believed that ‘rains come from the gods.’ At the same time, erratic rainfall has increasingly become widespread as the anthropogenic slow violence of climate change intensifies. In Zimbabwe the government recently proposed to launch a cloud seeding program aimed at augmenting rainfall and mitigate drought, and the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) launched the first campaign in the 2022-2023 rainfall season, receiving high praises from the president of the Zimbabwe Farmers Union. It could be too early to provide a detailed account of this first publicly recorded cloud seeding program in 21st century Zimbabwe, but it certainly makes one inquisitive to revisit the past. The current cloud seeding experiment is not new in the history of Zimbabwe. The colonial government experimented cloud seeding between 1947 and 1980, the experiments seem to have continued without government involvement in the first two decades of independence, and stopped all together when the predominantly white commercial farmers lost their farms in the Fast Track Land Reform Program in 2000. The talk examines both the efficiency of cloud seeding, as well as and more importantly how it shaped relations and politics among different interest groups such as the Rhodesia Sugar Association, the Tobacco Association, Water Department, MSD, Health Department and Commercial Farmers Union. It divulges the different interests of these groups on weather modification and how that shaped the politics of cloud seeding over time, from the late 1940s to early 2000s and situates the history of cloud seeding in colonial and post-colonial Zimbabwe in the broader global and regional scholarship on weather forecasting and cloud seeding.

Image: Tinashe Takuva


Office: Nora-Platiiel-Str. 5, room 2110A
Email: tinashe.takuva2@gmail.com