Kathebwe advocacy committee commend CCPM interventions for tackling climate change effects

Communities from the area of Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district have commended Climate Challenge Program Malawi (CCPM) project being implemented in us the area for helping to transform their lives and help to mitigate effects of climate change.

Catholic Development Commission of Malawi (CADECOM) 1 Office implemented the advocacy component of the project aimed at achieving more outcomes such as engaging communities on climate justice.

Advocacy committee from group village headman Kathebwe in T/A Mwambo in Zomba have revealed that through the CCPM project, they are making several positives strides without relying assistance from organizations.

Kathebwe advocacy team further said through the CCPM project, community members were saved from devastating floods in 2019 because they built a dyke from Phalombe river.

In 2020, the Kathebwe advocacy committee sensitized community members to build strong houses that can withstand natural disasters.

Secretary for the advocacy committee Enifa Malembo said the committee with help through the CCPM project managed to engage political leaders such as ward councilor Brazio Chithenga, member of parliament, Zomba District Commissioner and traditional leaders to discuss on the issues of poor road network as well as bridges in the area.

She said the meeting was successful and led to construction of bridge and dykes along Phalombe river.

“Through the use of several advocacy techniques, the community members understood the recommendations of the importance of communities to demand the developmental projects from duty bears happening to their respective areas which may transform people lives. Using efforts and resources, community members now understood the need of being committed and patriotic to their community,” said Malembo.

Malembo further said that it took common sense for them to recognize the fact that they cannot live without environment, the advocacy mobilized the residents to work hand in hand in conserving the natural resources in order to avoid effects that may rise with the destruction of trees and cultivating along the river.

“At first, people in the communities did not understand the effects of climate change, but when the advocacy committees learnt and sensitized them on the same, communities now understood and embarked on preventing things that have a potential of damaging natural resources  to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Using the skills and knowledge imparted to us, we managed to engage on various things such as advocating communities on the need of taking care of natural resources so that we should avoid the effects of climate change.

“We witnessed many people taking care of trees and planting more trees, and believed that shortly forest will be restored,” explained Malembo.

The Committee gives ownership of the community the different  in the area so that they should protect from vandalism practices.

On other hand,  the advocacy committee has managed to establish livestock farming through the CCPM project.

This intervention allows the community members to counter hunger as manure from the livestock improves crop yields, and thy can sell the livestock to buy food and other basic necessities.

In his words, the advocacy committee’s Chairperson Joseph Mangwira hailed CCPM project, saying they are now having big and successful irrigation schemes which use solar power. One of the irrigation schemes is Tiyanjane Irrigation scheme.

Solar powered Tiyanjane Irrigation scheme, curtsey of CCPM project

“The irrigation scheme is helping the community in several ways because there are a lot of households which benefit from this scheme. Chaweza advocacy revamping the water reservoir at the scheme, meaning to say if the scheme was not rescued from the destruction, all these households would have nowhere to get good and safe water for irrigation.

“Using the solar pump for irrigation makes it easy and fast for farming while on other hand avoiding to destroy natural resources  hence preventing effects of climate change,” said Mangwira.

Evance Makoka, secretary for Tiyanjane Irrigation scheme commended the advocacy committee for championing the development and cordial relationship between the advocacy committee,  village development committees (VDCs) and chiefs to respond to the climate change and create best solutions towards the same.

According to Makoka, Chaweza advocacy committee proves that it is possible to advocate for technological agriculture to the rural communities and start new innovations against all odds and ensure that lives are safe in the ever changing climate.

He added that the committee extended its work to establish mixed farming and climate smart agriculture.

 

The Climate Challenge Program Malawi was implemented in four districts of Balaka, Machinga, Zomba and Chikwawa, aimed at improving resilience to current and future climate change by developing and implementing community led adaptation strategies and measures that will improve agricultural production and rural livelihoods across the food-water-energy nexus.