In this paper, the hypothesis that rainfall variability has an impact on wetland loss is tested. There is limited research in Zimbabwe that recognises the influence of rainfall variability on wetland loss. The purpose of this research is to determine the influence of rainfall variability on wetland size over time. Topographical maps, for the period 1972 to 2008, provided data on wetland locations and their changes in size with time. Rainfall data for Masvingo province for the 1980 to 2015 period was obtained from the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) of Zimbabwe. Statistical analysis shows that there is no relationship between rainfall variability and wetland loss. It can be concluded that there is no relationship between rainfall variability and wetland loss therefore. The research findings show that the rates of change in wetland size differ from one wetland to another. The implications on wetland management are that interventions should largely address human causal factors of wetland loss than rainfall variability. Therefore, it is vital to devise a wetland rehabilitation plan that enables management of water from the rivers and wetlands that the communities depend on.
Key words: Climate change, rainfall variability, standard precipitation index (SPI), wetland rehabilitation, Zimbabwe.
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