Adapting to climate change in southern Mozambique
“Here in Nalazi, nature is dry, very dry. When it rains, the soil is gets inundated all over, but in a while, everything is gone. No one is harvesting water. ” Ms. Eufrazia Moiane shows a modern looking concrete water harvesting system for animals. The pump was destroyed decades ago. “Our community would be happy to have any training or support. We really need water to improve our livelihoods. The drought causes scarcity of drinking water and losses of crops and cattle.”
Nalazi with a population of 11,000 people, surviving on small-scale, rain-fed agriculture, is one of the remote zones of Guijá District in southern Mozambique’s Gaza province, where the Government, through the Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs and with support from UNDP and the Global Environmental Facility, in 2010 launched a project on coping with drought and adaptation to climate change.
- The drought causes scarcity of drinking water and losses of crops and cattle
- The aim of the project was to reduce drought vulnerability in farming and pastoral communities by guaranteeing water supply and by training the communities to grow drought-resistant crops
The aim of the project was to reduce drought vulnerability in farming and pastoral communities by guaranteeing water supply and by training the communities to grow drought-resistant crops, like sweet potato, cassava or sorghum. Women were trained to preserve natural fruits such as marula, massala, tinhiri (Sophora inhambansis) and Tinwambo (Sponea aquatic) for sale in markets. The project also helped improve the communication lines to make weather forecast and climate information available to communities.
The project sites are located in communities located in semi-arid regions of the Limpopo River Basin. These are among the poorest and most drought-prone areas of the country. According to observations by the National Disaster Management Institute inhabitants of Guijá suffered from acute food shortages. The project was successful in alleviating that situation.
The national meteorological data affirms the knowledge of the communities: the onset of the rain is later and later, the dry seasons get longer, the temperatures are altering, and the droughts have become more frequent.
At a later stage, this 3-year project with a total budget of $ 960,000, helped build up nurseries and seed banks, train farmers to make fodder for feeding the livestock in times of drought, train to monitor bush fires, provide the district with climatic information and a meteorological post, build wells with solar power pumps, and encourage the replication of good results around the country.
Speaking at the end of the project, a satisfied Eufrazia Moiane said: “The project assisted the community in adopting coping strategies that are adapted to the environmental changes such as reversing the practice of cutting tress for firewood as a source of income to other activities such as farming.”