In the past few months, CTDT, with the support of Akina Mama wa Afrika, has been implementing the Voices for Just Climate Action (VCA) project. The project wishes is to amplify the voices of communities in order to advocate for climate-resilient food production systems that consider the limitations of seed and water in Rufunsa district. CTDT has mobilized a group of 18 community members, including women farmers, representatives from the Ward Development Committees (WDCs) representatives from Chieftainess’s palace, representatives from people with disabilities, youth representatives, and like-minded Civil Society Organisations(CSO), to form the District Climate Change Committee (DCCC).
In November 2022, CTDT facilitated the District Climate Change Committee (DCCC) to conduct a climate change forum with key government stakeholders in the district. The aim of the meeting was to discuss ways to include climate financing in government initiatives at the district level. The attendees included the Council Chairperson, the area Councilor, the Constituency Development Committee Chairperson, members of the Ward Development Committee, farmers, the district environmental planner, members of the DCCC, and staff from CTDT.
In his speech, Council Chairperson Kennedy Mialoni stated that the government is aware of the impact of climate change, particularly in the agricultural sector. This is evident from the recent occurrences of flooding, drought, high temperatures, and pest invasions on crops, which have led to a loss of local crop diversity. ” Government is alive to the effects of climate change hence has come up with various projects including the creation of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to focus on climate change mitigation and adaptation to help communities cop with its effects,” he said.
CTDT director, Charles Nkhoma in his welcoming remarks stated that the impacts of climate change are mostly felt by those on the grassroots and hence communities should be part of the decision makers in climate change conversations. “What we are doing in Rufunsa is experimental and hopefully other districts can learn; what we did was try and organize ourselves at district level to participate more in the decision making in the discussions regarding climate change that we hear technocrats talk about in the media,” he said.
The DCCC called on the CDC to consider allocating 20% of the CDF funds towards financing climate change projects by the grassroots. Representing the community, the DCCC chairperson stated that the initiative will be functional in the district if there is financial support for climate change activities. “Our focus is on our agriculture, we must make sure we look at agriculture in its entirety so that the farming systems we introduce are structured in a way that is adapted to the climate change situation,” He said.
CDC Chairperson, Bishop Mambo said that the DCCC has a long way to go with a lot of work to do especially in curbing the vice against the cutting down of trees. “You need to know your WDCs and the councilors, actions need to be taken quickly, and the effects of climate change are visible like we have seen our crops being destroyed. Let’s work together, ourselves and the government utilizing the CDF to better the communities,” he said.