Community Based Climate Change Adaption Programm
In partnership with NBDF (Nile basin discourse Forum) financed by European Union (EU), RECOR implements the CBCCA (Community Based Climate Change Adaptation Project). It is a strategic two years pilot project in four districts (Nyagatare, Kirehe, Gatsibo and Bugesera districts in the Eastern Province Rwanda) designed to bring about changes in empowering community groups and non-state actors to mitigate climate change risks through appropriate climate change adaptation activities for sustainable development. The project started in July 2013 and the completion date should be on 30th of July 2015. In this project RECOR provided knowledge and skills for community members to be powerful advocates for change. Further it gives emphasis to community groups and non-state actors’ adaption needs in order to bring about positive benefits for the individual and the community. The actions of CBCCA were relevant to encourage sustainable development of these areas.
The overall objective of the project is to empower local communities and non-state actors to monitor the impact of poverty reduction and climate changes on environmental sustainability. Milestones, the project outcomes managed to succeed were demonstrated through improved livelihoods, nutrition, and accessibility to clean water, income generating activities and higher earnings as well as energy lighting solutions. The sustainability is also enhanced by the high level of ownership engendered by participation by the beneficiaries. The CBCCA project was highly participatory, bringing together communities and district leadership
To achieve this objective, NBDF is working on development and dissemination of climate change indicator toolkits. RECOR established 5 model villages in 4 districts namely Gatsibo, Bugesera, Kirehe and Nyagatare. The emphasis of this activity is on piloting best practices and models community based climate change adaptation actions at the ground. The model villages intend to serve as best practices in climate change adaptation and environmental protection towards poverty reduction. Activities are in support and linking other existing initiatives at district level supported by government programs. These are for example rain water harvesting, agro forestry, sustainable use of biomass, sustainable land management, tree planting, small land use good practices and promotion of renewable energy, environmental protection and more. The project districts were selected among the poorest and most vulnerable in the country, as Rwanda is highly sensitive to climate change effects.
Two of the four model villages.
At this stage of implementation, the project achieved the following:
1. Fifteen rain water harvesting tanks with a capacity of 10m3 were built in the model villages to provide 75 households with water. Water is fetched in less than 200 meters while before they walked more than 1 km to find water in valley dams. Water provided is cleaner than one found the old sources. Furthermore the harvesting tanks have the advantage to reduce the water bills and to increase awareness on rainwater harvesting importance. Since the construction of the tanks, there has been a decrease of soil erosion and water runoff in the villages. Retained water in the tanks is used in watering vegetables in case of unexpected shortage of rainfall, thus contribute to the increase of community resilience to climate change.
Cleaner water comes closer to the community in the model villages
2. In all five villages 500 kitchen gardens have been established. For more retention of water, the project promoted double dug type of kitchen garden. These are more resistant to draughts and supply families with vegetables throughout the year. From small land in the backyards of houses, family members improved nutrition and have sold the surplus to cover other needs. The families save a lot of money, because they have their own subsistence economy and they are not depending to the market. The saved money can use for important thinks like school fees and health insurance for their children.
Kitchen gardens for home nutrition and income generation
3. We supported families to plant 2,000 improved fruit trees resistant to climate variability. Beneficiaries received improved fruit seedlings with high production in short time. Each family received two grafted avocadoes seedlings (Hass specie), one mango seedling (Tomi) and one Orange seedling (Washington). A total of 500 families benefited from these fruit trees. After one year and a half only, the fruits started flowering whereas other fruit tree like papayas has supplied fruits. Increased awareness on improved nutrition and climate resilient agriculture is the outcome of this action.
Short term fruits are improving nutrition. Various techniques are used to mulch and water fruit trees
4. In every village one nursery bed has been established. Each nursery produced more than 6000 trees of various species like Calliandra, Papaya, Cassia ssp and Croton Megalocarpus according to the choice of beneficiaries and the suitability of a certain area for a certain species. In many nursery beds the number of plants was much higher than expected. For example in Nyamikamba Gatsibo district there are 11,600 trees in one nursery, in Rutobotobo village, the nursery had 7500 Trees. All trees have been planted in the villages and growth rate is more than 85%. In few coming years, we hope to have green villages with trees benefiting the community in various forms including fuel wood, timber, steaks for beans and more. Furthermore, beneficiaries learn how to establish nursery beds, which ensures replication of the activity after project closure. Also, and increased tree cover, soil erosion control and the reduction of exposure to climate change hazards are positive side effects of this implantation.
5. 3000 beneficiaries were trained on climate change impact identification and solving, finding climate change adaptation options, sustainable farming, building a climate resilient agriculture, the establishment of a drought resistant kitchen garden and compost making for supplying manure to vegetable gardens. Exactly 250 people were trained for using, building and repairing energy saving cooking stoves.
Beneficiaries were identifying impact of climate change in their area
6. The most vulnerable were provided with goats for increased organic manure and improvement of livelihood. The goats are bringing also a lot of other benefits like nutritious mil, meat, manure and can be sold to earn money to cover other household needs. In total, 14 goats were given to each model village and distributed among the most vulnerable. To help community have their animals reproduced very quickly, some billy goats were given among the animals.
The given goats have many beneficial uses
7. 324 energy saving stoves per village were built, that makes a total of 1615 stoves in the five project villages for reducing pressure on the vegetation cover and reducing the time spent on firewood collection. Community was trained on the use and their installation. The trainings have been of great importance because they need to sustain them and also refurbish after the closure of the project. The energy saving stoves have been built locally thus helped local cooperatives to earn money. The benefits are also expected to the end user, reduction of the volume of energy used (it saves 70% of the firewood compared to 3 stones stoves), beneficiaries will save money spent on firewood if not time spent on firewood collection which can improve school enrolment. The stove is smoke less, reduction of respiratory diseases will be observed in families during the lifespan of the stoves.
Energy saving stoves for improvement of livelihood and environmental protection
8. 175 households in all villages are powered with solar energy for lighting, radio powering and phone charging. The solar kits are really helpful for the community as they reduce the use of fossil fuel in lighting at home. The use of solar energy will not only reduce respiratory diseases from petrol lamps emission but also improve students’ performance resulting from evening lessons review at home.
Solar kits are used to light 4 lamps, 1 radio and phone charging
9. To improve soil fertility and moisture retention, the beneficiaries were trained on compost making. The use of compost reduces the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides which affected local soil pollution. It serves as a marketable commodity and is a low-cost alternative to standard landfill cover and artificial soil amendments. Composting also extends municipal landfill life by diverting organic materials from landfills and provides a less costly alternative to conventional methods of remediating (cleaning) contaminated soil. 5 composts were used to train 250 trainers and more 500 composts were made at homestead level.
Additionally and with great success, three documentary films were produced to share information, create a dialogue and influence a strategy on policy. By showing these issues to various audience reaching from local to international listeners, public awareness was increased on high level. Integration into government programs for funding and information on climate change adaptation and mitigation of best practices/models at decentralized levels were given.
The results of the CBCCA are:
• Community based organization leaders, and local authorities in the four districts are able to monitor the impact of climate change in their villages and districts and choose appropriate adaptation programs. Also, ownership and continuity of these programs will be strengthened.
• Community groups have accurate information and links with policy makers in order to influence decisions to mitigate climate change risks, reduce poverty and meet their own needs sustainably.
• Non-state actors have access to a range of indicator tools that support work towards a sustainable future.
• There is increased participation, awareness and dialogue on climate change at decentralized level with policy makers, the donor community, international and local organizations.
• Successful promotion of equity and equality between man and women and empowerment to participate in decision making processes.