UN appeals for positivity on climate chan

Acting United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Shigeki Komatsubara has emphasised on the need for Malawi to exercise positivity in as far climate change is concerned.

He said there is need for stakeholders to working together in creating new opportunities that would create more jobs and income from climate change.

Komatsubara told journalists in Lilongwe on Friday after a High Level Roundtable on Resilience that not everything about climate change is bad hence the need to prepare reducing the impact through different innovations

He added that saying climate change gives an opportunity to try new ways of doing things. 

“There is need to come up with more concrete ways of helping communities to diversify agriculture and better ways of creating compost in their villages and make new businesses from technology,” he said.

Komatsubara: climate change gives a room to try

Malawi has been hit by two cyclones this year which impacted on lives of millions of people, mainly in the Southern Region.

Komatsubara said climate change is not only a global phenomenon but also personal which communities need to be aware of as it is changing rain pattern having an impact on agriculture production.

He, therefore, said development partners cannot change Malawi but can support the people of Malawi who are willing to do new things, to try new ways of doing things that can benefit their lives.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change Principal Secretary, Dr Yanira Mtupanyama, described climate change as the biggest threat to sustainable development hence the need for Malawi to look at best practices and how such practices can be used.

She, therefore, called upon stakeholders to consider concerted efforts and collective responsibility in tackling climate change.

Balaka District Council Chief Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Denis Emanuel Zingeni, said the Council, through the Promoting Sustainable Partnership for Empowered Resilience (PROSPER) Project, is bringing in interventions which can bring resilience to households, especially farmers.

PROSPER is a multi-stakeholder resilience programme supporting government of Malawi to reduce extreme poverty and end the recurrent cycle of crises and humanitarian assistance with funding from UKAID under the Building Resilience and Adapting to Climate Change (BRACC).

Balaka is one of the district affected by different kinds of shocks such as prolonged dry spells, floods, heavy infestation of pests such as fall army worms.

“We are looking at interventions which are climate smart technologies such as irrigation farming, small stock livestock production and crop diversification to run away from the shocks which we are experiencing as a district,” he said.

The district has the livestock pass on programme meant to mitigate the impact of crop production, which Zingeni said has faired very well, to run away from the shocks which mainly affect crop production.

According to Zingeni, the second round of production estimates in the district has noted that production has reduced by almost 10 percent.

“What we are doing now is to inform farmers to go into irrigation farming as almost 12,000 hectares was affected by cyclone storm ANA in the district,” he said.

Zainabu White, a lead farmer from Balaka said the PROSPER Project has helped them a lot in mitigating impacts of climate change such as drought and other natural disasters.

“We now have forests where we are doing bee farming and natural disasters have reduced such that the impact of Cyclone ANA and Gombe has not been as natural disaster were in the past. It has also empowered women to stand up for themselves in terms of gender as such we will continue with the interventions even after the project has phased out,” she said.

The High Level Roundtable on Resilience which was held under the theme Looking at Best Practices in Climate Change in Malawi to Inform Government Policy was aimed to showcase achievements of resilience building interventions in Malawi and reflect on best practices in tackling poverty, food insecurity and climate change to inform the overarching discussion on climate adaptation and resilience interventions.