Cosmo Ngongondo

Cosmo Ngongondo
University of Malawi | UNIMA · Geography and Earth Sciences

PhD
Hydrological extremes from observed data and IKS

About

47
Publications
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Introduction
Cosmo Ngongondo is a Professor of Earth Sciences in the Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of Malawi. Cosmo does research in Hydrology, Water Resources, Meteorology and Climatology. Their current projects include: Climate Change and Ecosystems Management in Malawi and Tanzania (NORHED II); Advancing frequency analysis of nonstationary hydrological extremes for reducing flood risk in a changing climate (Norwegian Research Council); Climate extremes-Observed and IKS (R4SG) .

Publications

Publications (47)
Article
Full-text available
Satellite data provide high potential for estimating crop yield, which is crucial to understanding determinants of yield gaps and therefore improving food production, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) regions. However, accurate assessment of crop yield and its spatial variation is challenging in SSA because of small field sizes, widespread i...
Article
Adverse effects of climate risks on access to potable water are increasingly being acknowledged in sub Saharan Africa. Resilient infrastructure supported by appropriate governance arrangements, is therefore central to water security under these extreme weather events. For several decades, governments in sub Saharan Africa have developed governance...
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying the uncertainty of non-stationary flood frequency analysis is very crucial and beneficial for planning and design of water engineering projects, which is fundamentally challenging especially in the presence of high climate variability and reservoir regulation. This study proposed an integrated approach that combined the Generalized Addi...
Chapter
The impacts of climate-related risks on rural–urban linkages and the food systems on which urban settlements depend are poorly understood. This study analysed (i) the climate trends for Blantyre City and rural Chikwawa district in Malawi, (ii) the sources of foods typically consumed in these locations, (iii) the implications of flooding following T...
Chapter
Access to drinking water remains a challenge in many rural areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. This situation is further compounded by frequent disasters such as floods, which affect water supply infrastructure. However, few scholarly works have examined access to drinking water for rural households vulnerable to floods in Southern Africa. This study anal...
Article
Full-text available
Cropland expansion is a common strategy for boosting agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) even though it often leads to economic, environmental, and social trade-offs. Ensuring sustainable cropland use and their management is critical for improving food security and preserving ecosystem services. To develop policies and approaches th...
Chapter
This study explores links between IKS and climate science for flood forecasting in a flood-prone area, affected by Tropical Cyclone Idai, in Malawi. Rural communities’ perceptions of flood trends and risks were collected using household interviews (n = 60), key informant interviews (n = 10) and mixed gender focus group discussions in Chikwawa Distr...
Article
Full-text available
Drought phenomena are attributed to water availability deficit that is caused by low precipitation. However, droughts are quite complex and cannot simply be defined on the basis of precipitation as other factors may have an influence. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal patterns of droughts in Lake Chilwa Basin, an endorheic lake bas...
Preprint
Full-text available
Data scarcity globally has impeded our understanding of hydrological processes. This study was aimed at evaluating skills of models in reproducing past climate in the Shire River Basin (SRB) in Malawi for future climate impact assessments. The study used data, simulated by Global Climate Models (GCMs), participating in the Coupled Model Intercompar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Drought phenomena are attributed to water availability deficit that is caused by low precipitation. However, droughts are quite complex and cannot simply be defined on the basis of precipitation as other factors may have an influence. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal patterns of droughts in Lake Chilwa Basin, an endorheic lake bas...
Article
Full-text available
Climate and land use change (CC and LUC hereafter) are interlinked factors that can lead to river flow regime changes, as well as affecting hydrological extremes such as floods and drought. There is now considerable evidence of CC and LUC in many catchments in Malawi but without corresponding evaluations of their impacts on river flow regimes. Ther...
Article
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Lake Malawi in south eastern Africa is a very important freshwater system for the socio-economic development of the riparian countries and communities. The lake has however experienced considerable recession in the levels in recent years. Consequently, frequency analyses of the lake levels premised on time-invariance (or stationarity) in the parame...
Chapter
The significance of urban agriculture is increasingly being recognised across the globe. Urban agriculture’s contribution to food security and poverty reduction, especially for the urban poor, has received increasing attention in urban policy discourses (Satterthwaite et al. in Adapting to climate change in Urban areas; the possibilities and constr...
Chapter
Climate change and variability is threatening agricultural production and adversely affecting the natural resource base, which provides a living for more than half of the world’s poorest people. Farmers have therefore in response, developed coping strategies to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. However, most of these strategies have n...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigates groundwater discharge to rivers in the Shire River Basin, Malawi, using the base flow index (BFI) approach. The BFI represents the baseflow component of a river and is often used as a proxy indicator of groundwater discharge to a river. The smoothed minima method was applied to river flow data from 15 gauges in the Basin (ra...
Article
Full-text available
Food security in Malawi relies on rainfall amount and timing. Because agricultural production is the main source of income for most rural communities, increased frequency of extreme events will increase the risk of production failure—a major threat to food security. Evidence of changing rainfall is reported by farmers and by recent analysis of gaug...
Article
Malawi experiences frequent floods and droughts and these hydrological extremes kill and displace people and damage infrastructure. In recent years, the trend of these extreme events has increased in frequency and magnitude and has threatened socio-economic development of the country. Analysis of trends and frequency of hydro-meteorological extreme...
Book
Full-text available
Climate change presents a profound challenge to food security and sustainable development in Africa. Its negative impacts are likely to be greatest in the African region, which is already food insecure. In the face of global climate change and its emerging challenges and unknowns, it is essential that decision makers base policies on the best avail...
Article
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Climate change and variability are a threat to sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas of Malawi. Overdependence on subsistence rain-fed agriculture in these areas calls for the identification of sustainable adaptation strategies. A study was therefore conducted in Chikwawa, a semi-arid district in southern Malawi, to: (1) assess com...
Article
The study explores rural-urban linkages in order to address temporal and spatial dynamics of vulnerability to climate change at the scale of local government, focusing on Blantyre City. The study sought to assess how different groupings of urban consumers access their food and how they are impacted by climate change risks. The study established tha...
Article
Full-text available
Malawi's agro-based economy, based largely on rain fed agriculture production, renders the country highly vulnerable to impacts of climate change and variability. Changes in the seasonal rainfall distribution can be used to predict the impacts of climate change and variability on agricultural productivity. In this study, extreme rainfall indices we...
Article
Estimation of the spatial and temporal characteristics of key water balance components in data scarce regions is a large challenge worldwide. This paper presents the derivation of the 30-year surface water balance components (rainfall, temperature, potential and actual evapotranspiration (ETp and ETa) runoff). Monthly rainfall and mean temperature...
Article
The projected impacts of climate change and variability on floods in the southern Africa has not been well studied despite the threat they pose to human life and property. In this study, the potential impacts of climate change on floods in the upper Kafue River basin, a major tributary of the Zambezi River in southern Africa, were investigated. Cat...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides a comparison of two widely used global precipitation datasets in southern Africa: Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and Water and Global Change (WATCH) Forcing Data (WFD). We also evaluate the performance of the water and snow balance modelling system (WASMOD-D) in a water balance simulation of 22 gauged basins over the...
Article
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This study evaluated the performance of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Penman- Monteith (PM) reference evapotranspiration (ET0) method for various limited data scenarios in southern Malawi. The study further evaluated the full data PM method against the radiation-based Priestley-Taylor (PT) and the temperature-based Hargreaves (HAG) me...
Article
Full-text available
In Malawi, production from subsistence rain fed agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. In response to the adverse effects of climate change and variability, a National Adaptation Programme of Action is used as framework for implementing adaptation programmes. However, this framework puts limited significance on indigeno...
Article
Climate change impact projections in southern Africa suggest significant declines in flows in the major river basins. However, impacts of climate change on hydrological extremes (floods) in the region remain a grey area despite the threat they pose to human life and property. In this study, the impacts of climate change on extreme flows in the uppe...
Article
Full-text available
Groundwater resources in some parts of the lower section of the Shire River valley, Malawi, are not potable for rural domestic water supply due to high salinity. Knowledge of spatial variation of water quality is essential in locating and sustaining usable water supplies. In this study, a comprehensive assessment of the quality of groundwater from...
Article
Subsistence rain fed agriculture underpins rural livelihoods in the Sub Saharan Africa. The overdependence on rainfall suggests the need for more reliable climate and weather forecasts to guide farm level decision making. Traditionally, African farmers have used indigenous knowledge (IK) to understand weather and climate patterns and make decisions...
Article
Irrigation is a major coping strategy in many areas experiencing unreliable rainfall distribution and pattern for rain fed agriculture. The benefits of irrigation may however be challenged by its potential to increase malaria incidences through creating breeding grounds for malaria vectors. This study compared malaria trends from archived malaria r...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the methods, procedure and results in studying spatial and temporal characteristics of rainfall in Malawi, a data scarce region, between 1960 and 2006. Rainfall variables and indicators from rainfall readings at 42 stations in Malawi, excluding Lake Malawi, were analysed at monthly, seasonal and annual scales. In the study, the...
Article
Full-text available
Rainfall extremes often result in the occurrence of flood events with associated loss of life and infrastructure in Malawi. However, an understanding of the frequency of occurrence of such extreme events either for design or disaster planning purposes is often limited by data availability at the desired temporal and spatial scales. Regionalisation,...
Article
The Linthipe and Songwe River Deltas are found to the extreme southern and northern parts of Lake Malawi respectively within the East African Rift System. They occur in contrasting tectonic and climatic settings of the rift-valley half-graben structure.The sub-aqueous part of the Songwe Delta consists of relatively finer grained sediments than the...
Article
An understanding of the temporal and spatial characteristics of rainfall is central to water resources planning and management. However, such information is often limited in many developing countries like Malawi. In an effort to bridge the information gap, this study examined the temporal and spatial charecteristics of rainfall in Malawi. Rainfall...
Article
Full-text available
The impacts of climate change on water resources have received much attention globally especially in the last 30 years. Rainfall, the main driver of the hydrological cycle, has been varying in parts of the world in various ways. The picture is more complicated if impacts of land cover changes on water resources are also taken into consideration. Th...
Article
There is prevalence of dental fluorosis in certain parts of Machinga District that can be attributed to elevated drinking water fluoride content in the areas. Therefore, it is important to know the actual quality of water within the district and identify specific fluoride endemic areas that may require immediate adoption of remedial measures to man...
Article
Annual rainfall series and annual base flow series (1954–1998) derived from the annual river flow series for the Mulunguzi river in Malawi were analysed using the non-parametric Mann–Whitney Pettit and Mann–Whitney–Wilcoxon statistics to detect any trends and variability patterns. A general decline in rainfall, with alternating wet and drier years...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
The overall objective is to contribute to the scaling up of four proven climate-smart agricultural (CSS) solutions to increase food security, nutrition and income for 200,000 smallholder farm households under changing climatic conditions. The objective will be achieved through four expected results: (i)Increase the uptake of weather based insurance by smallholder farmers; (ii) Improved access to weather information by farmers through ICTs; (iii) Increase farmers access to stress-tolerant germplasm and technical interventions that increase crop productivity and reduce risks under a changing climate; (iv) Support farmer engagement in policies and incentives to facilitate access and use of CSS