Training programme on climate change for small-scale farmers in Khorixas concludes
The Environment Investment Fund (EIF) this week concluded a training programme on improving rangeland and ecosystem management practices of smallholder farmers during climate change in the Kunene region.
Kunene region, situated in the north-western part of the country is one of the most vulnerable regions and severely affected by climate-related shocks such as recurrent droughts.
Over the past decade, small-scale farmers in Kunene Region, have endured recurrent drought and flood events that have culminated in the loss of their primary form of livelihood. Many people living in the Kunene Region depend on livestock farming, community-based natural resource management (conservancy and community forest-related tourism) and the use of biodiversity products to meet their daily needs. Natural resource-based livelihoods are vulnerable to climate change to some extent. Namibia continues to observe the ongoing natural variability and changes in rainfall patterns, hence the dominant extreme weather conditions in recent years.
Delivering the welcoming remarks at the training for trainers was the Manager for Corporate Communications at the EIF, Lot Ndamanomhata highlighted that “in order to be prepared for looming adversities brought about by climate variability, there is a need to shift from being reactive and become more proactive”
Although it is not possible to predict what effect future climate will have, it is of utmost importance to explore and utilise relevant tools that would enable us to capture and disseminate accurate information in order to manage extreme climate risks.
A well-functioning early warning system is an adaptive measure for climate change, which uses integrated communication systems to help vulnerable communities prepare for hazardous climate-related shocks. Such a system comes with wide-ranging benefits such as saving lives and livelihoods, safeguarding productive land and infrastructures, and supporting long-term sustainability. This conforms to the mission of the EIF which aims to promote the sustainable economic development of Namibia through investment in and promotion of activities and projects that protect and maintain the natural and environmental resources of the country.
The Early Warning System will alert communities under threat of an imminent disaster to undertake proactive actions built upon the four Early Warning System components: (i) hazard detection, monitoring and forecasting; (ii) analysing risks and incorporation of risk information in emergency planning and warnings; (iii) disseminating timely and “authoritative” warnings; and (iv) community planning and preparedness. This will address the adaptation needs of smallholder farmers through access to accurate and up-to-date climate information to enhance adaptation responses. This intervention would go a long way in minimising current steps or procedures undertaken before early warning messages reach the intended populations at risk.
The development of an Early warning system tailored for the Kunene Region will not only assist communities and public institutions in their planning but will also help preserve essential financial resources in the long run, thereby protecting the local and national economy. Early warning information empowers people to take action prior to disasters.
Charlie Mwaetako the Chief Scientific Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform for the Kunene region denoted that this training presents the opportunity to communities to be trained on how to implement and maintain an effective Early Warning System with the objective of strengthening the resilience of local agricultural farming systems for enhanced food and nutrition security in the Kunene Region.