Caritas Zambia has started implementing a 2-year project aimed at strengthening community capacity in Emergency Preparedness and Response. The project being implemented on the outskirts of the capital, Lusaka in Mumbwa and Sibuyunji districts will see 300 people benefit from this programme supported by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).
The idea is to build community capacity to engage in advocacy aimed at creating climate change adaptation initiatives that will assist communities acquire resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts.
“This project aims to build the capacities of communities to learn to reduce risks in their localities even before disasters occur rather than waiting to manage disasters after they have already occurred,” Caritas -Zambia Head of Programmes Eugene Kabilika has said.
One of the project’s activities is to facilitate training for communities in Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). FMNR is one of the measures for enhancing resilience in the wake of forest depletions. The objectives of the training include involving local communities in developing forests that meet their needs and motivating them to conserve forests. The training will also equip inhabitants with cultural techniques that encourage natural regeneration as this will ultimately assist in the restoration of lost forests.
“We are training communities to prepare for any disaster be it drought or floods by giving them seeds that withstand any of the two. We are also giving information on how to grow crops using natural agricultural practices without depending on chemical fertilisers,” Kabilika said.
He added, “Our approach is to mobilise all farmers in the catchment (area) to look at all their resources and the biodiversity that supports them as a whole. This makes it easier to understand the nature of how each part works and how to maximise growth and profit. Growth starts with soil improvement,” Kabilika outlined.
According to Zambia Meteorological Department, Zambia is expected to experience flash floods during the 2016/2017 rainy season.
(Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops, Lusaka)