An Overview Of Our Solution
- Population Impacted
- Continent: Africa
Local resources the community depends on, and for what purpose
Local threats to resources
Level of sensitivity
Level of adaptive capacity
The project was part of implementation of the National Adaptation Programmes of Action piloting where the District was one of the four selected in the country. The Project was intended to address the increasing negative impacts of climate change in the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems; demonstrate the benefits of implementing the NAPA as a preliminary adaptation tool, so that additional resources can be attracted to roll out NAPA implementation to other areas; and generate lessons and increased adaptation planning understanding for developing a more comprehensive medium to long-term adaptation strategy for the country. The main purpose of the project was was to strengthen community resilience towards the increasing negative impacts of soil erosion and associated health challenges, water and land degradation management in the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems in Bundibugyo District. Specific Objectives of the project were to establish four community woodlots on degraded hills to reduce water runoffs and stabilise soils, establish 80 demonstration water and land management plots with agro forestry, introduce energy saving technologies to reduce use of massive firewood which was degrading the forests, generate and document lessons to improve adaptation planning and identify communities underlying factors on climate change Adaptation and DRR through community vulnerability assessments and build capacity in planning and budgeting for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction In terms of livelihood diversification, the project educated farmers to use improved methods of farming using trenches and terraces to catch runoff water and reduce soil erosion, supplying them with quick maturing crops and improved seed by the end of the project, farmers testified that the coffee, beans and banana yields had improved and earned them more income than before. Testimonies can be found in the documented flier on best practices and lessons which will be attached. ? To improve food security the project also supplied quick and better yielding beans and cassava and also promoted soil and water conservation technologies to improve productivity. This has increased food production for consumption and income. ? Improved hazard risk management: The capacity and vulnerability assessment and trainings carried out have given communities skills to manage their farming to avoid erosion, flooding and trees have been planted on bare hills to act as wind breakers and hold the soil and m=stones which usually slide down during heavy rains. The communities were involved in mapping hazard prone areas and the office of the prime minister which is in charge of disasters was engaged to give technical support through training and developing action plans to guide the community. ? To improve use of water resources or other natural ecosystem services: the project encouraged tree planting along river banks and soil trenches to reduce the amount of silt deposited into rivers. An ordinance at District level and a Byelaw at sub county level were developed to ensure communities abide by the set standards of ecosystem restoration and management. The cook stoves will also reduce the amount of fuel wood used thus reducing tree cutting for firewood.
Economic Indicators used to measure benefit
-No. of people reported sick and visiting health facility decreased -reduced siltation of rivers and other water sources Reduced tree cutting Amount of chlorine used dropped.
Community/Social Indicators used to measure benefit
-Training more farmers who needed tools which were not planned. -Cost of tree nursery operations in terms of buying seedlings tools and equipment Cost of labor for constructing the trenches particularly forthe elderly and disabled -Purchase of specific farm tools and equipment. -Cost of taking farmers for exposure visits and demonstrations in areas which are doing adaptation projects. -Publishing information, education and communication materials as well as reports
-Increased food and cash crop production. -income to farmers has improved. -Skills development in constructing and using energy saving cook stoves Documentation of best practices which have been shared globally, nationally and regionally.
Ecological Indicators used to measure benefit
-Improved crop yields -Increased household income Reduced destruction of food crops and infrastructure
What were/are the challenges your community faced in implementing this solution?
Challenges faced included; ? Climate change capacity gaps at the district and sub county ? The mountainous terrain was challenging for activity implementation. Sometimes up to 4 hours would be needed to reach activity sites. ? Communities did not understand climate change well. Some took it for granted and imagined they had nothing to do so it took time to first create awareness and more is still needed ? Farmers expectations were varied and high expecting magic solutions to climate change ? The trenches were labour intensive ? Delay in the release of project funds interfered with project implementation. ? The short term nature of the project has limited impact on the community adaptation and needs to be addressed Solutions; ? Used national government staff to support the district on policy issues and developing integrated plans at the district and sub county level ? Formed training team comprising of people used to mountain climbing. This was mainly from farmers themselves. ? Made radio and public talks about the importance of the environment and the risks of climate change and how to adapt. ? Formed farmers into groups so that they work on each other?s farms in groups to ease the work. ? On area size, we selected the most prone areas and started with those. ? Encouraged voluntary work. Risks to this solution; ? Not able to tap into the knowledge of those not used to mountain climbing. Farmers are called to the lowlands to be trained. ? Area and population covered is small and the mal-adaptation is likely to happen ? Short term nature of the project is a problem. Although the sustainability plan envisages that people are in groups, they need supervision, skills development and information, and therefore needed more time.
Describe the community-based process used to develop the solution including tools and processes used
In 2010, Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance did a research at community level and it was found out that the existing development plans do not reflect the communities? challenges regarding climate variability, disasters and change. Most importantly, the district development plan which is the key instrument in determining the extent of resource allocation both for the local revenue and national resources did not reflect climate change issues. Assessments were done with the community and they came up with proposals of what can be done to solve the impacts of climate change on the community. Support was given to develop the proposal and funds were released to the District. Assessments completed The district conducted Climate change capacity and vulnerability assessment in the project area to understand the underlying factors of vulnerability to climate change. This was done using PRA tools which analysed the change in rainfall and temperature patterns over 30 years, the changing trend of hazards and their impacts on resources, institutional mapping and an assessment of how different institutions increase or reduce people?s capacity to cope with climate change impacts. The assessment also focused on vulnerability analysis, looking at how different hazards impact different categories of the community ? children; boys and girls, old men and women, the chronically sick, the poor and an analysis of the coping strategies they use, if they are sustainable or not and then delved into understanding what can be done to improve adaptive capacity. More tool were used to assess adaptive capacity using the Local adaptive capacity frame work and assess the capacity of the community in terms of asset base, access to knowledge and information, innovation, institutions and entitlements as well as flexible and forward looking decision making. This assessment gave a rich background for the district to integrate community issues into the district development plan as a way of mainstreaming climate change and DRR into district programmes. Inclusion of the most vulnerable stakeholder groups in the decision making process. The District ensured that meetings are conducted in the community and members are separated according to old men, old women, young men and young women. Their experiences on climate change are different and their needs also differ. In their individual groups, community members give suggestions of what can work for them and this is integrated in the development plans of the sub county and the district. During implementation, a community National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) implementation committee was set up, which would discuss the budgets, the procurement items, the needs of the community and also monitor implementation of the project. Partners/organizations and their roles The project was implemented with the Ministry of water and Environment; climate change unit of the Government of Uganda, and World Vision under the Africa Climate change resilience Alliance (ACCRA). The roles of the Ministry included technical support to the district in terms of policies and guidelines, coordinating the parties during implementation, providing technical and financial reporting guidelines and support training for the District staff and maintaining relationship and communication with the donor. The District was responsible for leading in implementation of the project in close consultation with World Vision Uganda ? ACCRA, providing oversight of funds from Ministry of Water and Environment ? Climate Change Unit to execute specific and agreed upon activities under the programme, account for the funds received from the Ministry of Water and Environment in the agreed time frame as per approved project work plan, take responsibility for the technical quality of the Project with all necessary operational support, management and personnel, as stipulated in the approved Project Budget, and day-to-day execution of the Project and ensure regular monitoring and timely reporting is done to the Ministry as per the MOU in line with the approved project work plan. ACCRA provided periodic technical support towards implementation of the project on the agreed time frames; built the capacity of the local government planning technical teams in terms of integrated planning to ensure climate related challenges are included in the sector plans and allocation of resources done accordingly. ACCRA also supported periodic learning and sharing of lessons to improve planning and scaling up of National Adaptation Programmes of Action activities. The project was implemented in a period of 12 months but communities have gone ahead with some of the activities like maintaining tree nurseries, and using the new methods of farming. Management systems used to support the solution. The project established partnerships for proper management and implementation and went ahead to include sub county community implementation structures to ensure monitoring, supervision and decision making is participatory. Sessions were done to clarify the roles of the different management structures to ensure there is no role conflict and performance is well monitored. Training and capacity building was done at different levels to ensure different teams had the required skill to do the work. Assessments, financial reviews and reporting timelines were scheduled on a quarterly basis to ensure that the project was on track and this was supported by community level structures working with technical people to do supervision, monitoring and training for community beneficiaries. Exchange visits, documentation of lessons using fliers were used to ensure the best practices are disseminated and learning happens externally and internally as well. The flier with all the successes and lessons of the project can be accessed on: http://community.eldis.org/.59d669a8/Bundibugyo%20Flier%20-%20ACCRA.pdf
Climate hazard of concern
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the ecosystem affected?
Soil erosion in the district has been a result of frequent land and mudslides, given the hilly terrain of the area. Every year soil is washed off on the bare hills and yet communities cultivate on the hill tops. Promotion of the soil and water conservation trenches and terraces has helped to trap runoff water and soils and store them. The speed of the running water is reduced and hence the ability to erode is checked. Productive soil is kept on-farm and runoff water slowly sips into the soil and the productivity of the land is enhanced. Tree planting is another activity the project embarked on to ensure that the bare hills are covered and indigenous trees were mostly promoted as well as fruit trees and coffee trees. This helps to hold the soil and reduce water runoff, and the choice of trees also provide food and income to the community. Wood lots for firewood were also promoted on farm to reduce cutting of trees, which is rampant in the district. Planting trees along riverbanks also helps to reduce soil erosion and reduce the impact of landslides and also protect the river banks degradation. Improved cook stove promotion is to reduce on cutting down of trees as well as help women and girls who had to walk long distances looking for firewood and destroying the environment in the process.
How has your solution increased the capacity of the ecosystem to adapt to potential climate changes?
By controlling water and soil runoff in the gardens, there is more soil retained on farm and through mulching, the spools of moisture content remains high even during prolonged droughts and farmers are able to grow crops all the year around.
How does your solution reduce the exposure of and buffer/protect the communities affected?
The exposure to soil erosion and landslides will greatly be reduced. The loss of productive soils and farm crops is checked and farmers will have steady food and incomes. Silting of water sources will reduce and the prevalence of disease is likely to reduce. The communities are aware of the vulnerability faced and able to plan coping mechanism The communities derive livelihood from agriculture and to be exposed to soil erosion and landslides makes them loose the only source of their livelihood which is farming. Helping in maintaining or improving the soil fertility of the communities is paramount. In addition the project has provided skills in tree nursery management; already the community group is selling the trees to many farmers in the District. Because of the good initiative which is also saving the national parks around from encroachment, Uganda wildlife authority donated 2 cows to the farmer groups to diversify their income. The district is also making efforts to link these organized groups with other government programmes, already some groups have been supported with income generating activities to reduce their dependence on land alone.
How has your solution increased the capacity of local communities to adapt to potential climate changes?
The communities are aware of climate change and the project also received the seasonal weather forecast which is translated in local languages and disseminated it to the community. This has helped farmers to plan and make informed decisions on their farming choices and action. The assessments have also raised awareness on the causes and implications of degrading ecosystems. Most community members have been affected by the hazards and there is willingness to work towards improving adaptive capacity. The ordinance and bye law will also help in reducing actions that increase vulnerability of the ecosystems to the impacts of climate change. The knowledge acquired during on-farm training and exposure visits makes them more resilient to climate change issues than before. For example, a farmer is able to maintain water in his/her garden longer after the rains, due to the soil and water trenches. Linkages have been made with the ministry departments responsible for disaster management with open communication between the two and capacity building has been done. With continued feedback and open communication community empowerment is enhanced to implement action plans developed.
Can this solution be replicated elsewhere?
This solution can be replicated elsewhere. The main factors for success would be using the trained farmers to scale up the activities. For example local women were trained to do energy saving stoves and have been training others; the same group can be used to train in new areas. The other success factor is that the project was using radio programmes to disseminate information, lessons and successes, which created a lot of demand from other sub counties where the project is not implemented. Scale up would be easier because people already know the benefits. The District staff have been trained in integrating climate change into their plans, scaling up would put more Local governments on board thus improving planning in the district. The model of farmer filed schools has been useful; some farmers who are neighbouring the project area are already copying from their neighbors and practicing. For example the demand for tree seedlings has increased which was not the case before project implementation. The District ordinance which was developed and supported by this project governs the whole district, so scaling up would be easier due to the conducive policy environment. This solution has been innovative in the way it has made farmers accountable for the whole implementation process. The NAPA committee has been engaged in procurement, monitoring and implementation. Skills transfer has also been done from farmer to farmer instead of increasing costs of training. The linkages with national government and learning from in country adaptation projects have also been helpful in cutting costs and improving skills for farmers.