Strengthening of community resilience

The communities living in and around wetlands are under increased pressure from environmental degradation and climate change related events, such as extended and more intense droughts, floods and extreme weather. Therefore, we work to strengthen community resilience so they can bounce back after hazards, and avoid that hazards become disasters.  

Adapting to changes

Changes in rainfall patterns threaten the water supply needed for many dry regions in Africa. Beneficial flooding becomes less predictable and puts pressure on those fishermen, pastoralist and farmers depending on it. Therefore, we work with the communities, for example in Mali, to develop strategic plans to make them drought resilience. Furthermore, we developed a flood prediction tool (OPIDIN) that helps to inform and adjust communities in the Inner Niger Delta to less flooding.

Reducing disaster risks

With our partners Cordaid, Netherlands Red Cross and Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre we prepare communities for disasters, and reduce disaster risks by sustainable management of wetlands. This helps communities become resilient to these hazards as they happen and prevent them turning into disasters. Together we work to increase the resilience of 100,000 people who depend on the resources of the Ewaso Ng’iro North river basin in Kenya and 75,000 people who depend on the resources of a variety of ecosystems in Northern Uganda, from Lake Kyoga to the drylands of Karamoja. These areas are vulnerable to climate related disasters such as drought, flooding and landslides, and the situation is made considerably worse by the overexploitation of natural infrastructure, such as deforestation.

Restoring natural services

We also increase the resilience of wetland dependent communities by protecting and restoring wetland services. In Zambia and Malawi we applied the Functional Landscape Approach that restores the seasonal dambo wetlands by replanting upland forests and grassland, so that water infiltrates better and recharges the lower lying dambo. Now farmers can use its water all-year round and are more resilient to drought. Watch the video

By restoring coastal mangrove forests and reducing their degradation, these coastal communities are better protected from extreme weather events and even sealevel rise. In Guinea Bissau we restored rice fields in the mangroves and throughout West Africa we introduced sustainable production techniques to reduce mangrove wood demand. Read more

 

Achievements

  • In Zambia and Malawi introduced the Functional Landscape Approach, restoring the dambo wetlands and improving food security of the communities.
  • Through the development and availability of early warning tools (such as OPIDIN) by the Mopti regional committee, we increased the resilience of 10,000 community members to drought in the delta, and 60 villages are now better prepared on risk management.
  • In addition, our Mali team developed and trained the regional committee to inform farmers, herders and fisherfolk about future flooding behaviour using these tools.
  • In Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone, we provided tools for solar salt production and improved fish smoking practices to reduce the use of mangrove trees for firewood. Our activities have promoted sustainable livelihoods for people who depend on the area for their income and for food security and preserved the protecting function that mangroves provide. Read more