Addressing and adapting to climate change in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is a region in Tanzania that is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts. Incidences of unpredictable rainfall, uncertainty over cropping patterns, forest fires and pests and diseases are impacting people’s livelihoods. Envirocare implemented a one-year project ‘Climate Change: Impacts, Vulnerabilities and Adaptation in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania’. The project goal was to enhance community participation in climate change mitigation in Kilimanjaro region. Objectives of the project were (i) to create awareness on the causes and impact of climate change in region (ii) to create awareness on the adaptation to climate change in the region.
The following activities were implemented: adaptation measures to climate change including afforestation through community participatory efforts, developing community forest fire prevention plans, peatland and wetland management, water harvesting techniques, terracing and contour farming and energy stove making. The following outcomes have been achieved: awareness of local communities to climate change issues have been enhanced; there are improved water harvesting techniques and storage facilities and community awareness on energy saving stoves and rehabilitating the degraded areas has been raised.
However, implementation of this project faced some challenges which including:
Poverty in Mwanga district has increasingly become an environmental phenomenon which challenged implementation of the project. Poverty is making people practise agriculture in fragile ecosystems areas such as the wetlands and peatlands, and also to overexploit the natural resources in order to survive.
Reliable and sustainable sources of energy are still a problem for many of the Mwanga district communities. Fuel wood and charcoal use continue to be the only fuel sources for home cooking. This has resulted into increase in the rate of deforestation.
Failure to adhere to laws and regulations
Some community members do not adhere to laws and regulations which prevent them from unsustainable use forest resources.
However, overall achievements have been:
i) Increased awareness on the causes of climate change
Before implementation of the project, the majority of the community were not aware that their activities contribute to climate change impacts. Their farming practices have depleted peatlands and made most of the swampy areas dry out. This in turn contributes to water scarcity in the district. Awareness creation of the human-made activities that affect climate change have made the four village communities start protecting their water sources and practice contour farming so as to reduce soil erosion.
ii) Increased awareness of rainwater harvesting
Mwanga district is one among the most affected by drought. Project implementation has enabled communities to promote rainwater harvesting. They are now effectively collecting rainwater and storing it from their own rooftops.
iii) Increased use of energy saving stoves
Energy saving stove use has been promoted all over the district. Energy saving stoves groups are taking part in making and distributing them in all over the district.
“Envirocare is very grateful for APE’s support which has made implementation of this important project a reality.” Envirocare