Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Maasai pastoralists in Arusha Region have a reason to smile, thanks Hakikazi Catalyst and the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), working to improve climate change adaptation planning.

Tina Timan ,a councilor from Ngorongoro

The pastoralists living in Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro districts that are under threat of climate change impact are to benefit through establishment devolved district-level climate adaptation fund.

Development experts say current planning and governance methods are not adequate to address the impacts of climate change and support local resilience.

Speaking during a two-day workshop at Longido, Namanga, the community leaders said climate change impact is real and seriously putting their livelihoods in jeopardy.

Commenting during the workshop, also attended by members of parliament from the three districts, a prominent Maasai elder Saiteye Martalo said the weather is getting hotter and the rain more unpredictable.

He said: “This project will ultimately help us adapt to climate change through strategies for sustaining livestock production based on an understanding of the most important climate and social changes affecting our livestock management and the cultural, socio-economic, and physical impediments to climate change adaptation.” 

Martalo said the project has come at the right time because the knowledge they got will lead to pastoral transformation and to resilient futures by understanding climate from the ground up.

 ”I’m pleased with this programme and especially by involving women in pastoral communities; women in these communities are the most affected victims of climate change impact.

“They are the ones who travel long distances to find water, collect firewood and  I believe this programme will help bring mechanisms to give more  relief to them enormously, "said  Tina Timan a  councilor from Ngorongoro District.

Tina added that there is a need for government to review land use policies because currently pastoral communities are at greater risk of becoming landless because a lot of land has been turned into conservation areas or allocated to investors.

Dora Puyo from Monduli went further to say that pastoralists had become refugees in their home land.

 “I ask our politicians and the government to take action now; herders are at greater risk of becoming poor, it is important steps are taken to counter the ongoing situation,“ she stressed.  
Climate change impact is an issue of concern but according to her there is a problem of investors or some local individuals hardening large tracts of pastoralits’  areas, leaving them  without grazing pastures.

 ”Where I come from  in  Monduli, investors have big chunks of land  which is undeveloped; such land should be reallocated to local communities,”   said  Kipuyo,  vice-chairlady  women council, Monduli District.
Alais Morin at , Project Coordinator from the International Institute of Environment and Development said the project is funded by the UK Department for International Development/UK-AID.

Hakikazi Catalyst is implementing the project in partnership with the three districts.

He said climate change effects pose urgent and significant threats to livelihoods and economies in the dry lands, creating fundamental risks at national level.

“The project seeks to address this situation through improving planning and governance over resources so that local government interventions support dry lands livelihoods and economies to become more resilient while contributing to wider economic growth,” he said.

He noted that production in the dry lands can be resilient and contribute to food security, national economy and social economic stability.

“In this forum, apart from sharing of ideas and experiences, we had an opportunity to reflect on the collective existing policies and national development vision in eradicating poverty and national efforts in addressing climate change and climate.

The workshop brought various stakeholders including traditional elders both men and women with the aim to learn, discuss and develop strategies for recovery and disaster posed by the impact of climate change.

In addition to structural barriers to greater coordination between local and formal planning processes such as inadequate funds for consultation, different planning cycles, there are ideological barriers, for example, lack of value placed on traditional knowledge.


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