CBA Namibia: Adjusting Agricultural Practices to Reduce Climate Change Risk in Omusati Region (OIKE)
In this project’s four target villages in Namibia’s Omusati region, 70% of the residents are subsistence farmers who grow rain-fed crops. It is the country's most densely populated and has high rates of HIV/AIDS infection, a lack of water infrastructure and increased groundwater salinization. The unsustainable use of pasture lands and native plants is degrading land resources. Reduced soil permeability and decreased water availability are contributing to poverty and environmental degradation in the region.
This Community-Based Adaptation project seeks to increase communities’ adaptive capacity through the development of resilient farming practices and improved natural resource management. Integrating all community groups including young members, the project provides the community with practical tools for adaptation, increases community awareness about climate change risks, and incorporates all adaptive strategies into action. Lessons learned from project implementation will be disseminated regionally, nationally and globally, to encourage adaptive solutions at all levels.
* This project is part of Namibia's Community-Based Adaptation portfolio. *
Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa. Half of its population relies on subsistence agriculture, making it highly vulnerable to climate change and variability. In four communities in the Omusati region—Onkani, Okaankaa, Onakapya and Ondjungulume—70% of residents are subsistence farmers, growing rain-fed crops such as pearl millet, sorghum, bambara nuts, groundnuts, pumpkins, and indigenous vegetables. Animal husbandry in the region is non- commercial and includes sheep, goats, pigs, donkeys and poultry. Other livelihood activities include non-agricultural employment in nearby towns and the selling of locally-made alcoholic beverages.
The Omusati region is the country’s most densely populated and has high rates of HIV/AIDS infection. Other challenges include lack of water infrastructure and increased groundwater salinisation. The unsustainable use of pasturelands and native plants is degrading land resources. Reduced soil permeability and decreased water availability are contributing to poverty and environmental degradation in the region.
Namibia is likely to be adversely impacted by climate change, which is expected to alter rainfall patterns. Water availability has declined in recent years and climate change projections forecast increased aridity. Temperatures are projected to increase by 2-4°C and rainfall is expected to decline 10-20% by 2050, when compared to 1961-1990 baseline. The country is projected to face water scarcity by 2020 and is expected to experience more droughts and floods. Increased soil degradation threatens both local livelihoods, by reducing crop, meat and milk production, and the health of residents, through the increased prevalence of cholera and other water related illnesses. The reduction of natural resources in the project area is also leading to the adoption of environmentally damaging practices, such as encroachment into the Etosha National Park by farmers in search of better agricultural land.
This Community-Based Adaptation project has been prepared and implemented through a participatory process by OIKE, a local farmer’s organization working to improve agricultural and forestry practices. The project seeks to increase the adaptive capacity of communities through the development of resilient farming practices and improved natural resource management. Drought resistant tree species will be planted to increase forest cover and reduce land degradation pressures by improving soil permeability and reducing evapotranspiration. Fruit tree species will be selected during an awareness-raising process with the community and will provide alternative sources of income. Demonstrations of resilient and integrated soil-conservation methods will be undertaken, along with accompanying farmer training to monitor local soil, vegetation and livestock initiatives.
Sustainable water resource management strategies will be addressed, as well. Small-scale rainwater harvesting and storage methods will improve water conservation and usage while adapting to more erratic and heavy rains. Four local schools have already been equipped with water tanks and will be trained in rainwater harvesting, thereby raising the awareness of younger generations. The community’s capacity to maintain hand-made wells will be improved in order to prevent the construction of additional wells that would lower the water table.
Project objectives include both providing the community with practical tools for adaptation and increasing community awareness about climate change risks. The project seeks to integrate all community groups, including younger members, into activities. Lessons learned from project implementation will be shared regionally, nationally and globally, to encourage adaptive solutions at all levels.
Key Results and Outputs
Outcome 1 (co-financing): Increased capacity for soil conservation in face of climate change risks
Train communities in cost-effective soil conservation and monitoring methods (Output 1.1), and develop demonstration projects on farms (Output 1.2). Establish monitoring of local level soil, vegetation and livestock initiatives (Output 1.3).
Outcome 2 (co-financing): Increased capacity for small-scale rainwater harvesting
Train communities in cost-effective rainwater harvesting methods (Output 2.1) and establish pilot examples at local schools (Output 2.2). Provide selected households with rainwater harvesting infrastructure (Output 2.3).
Outcome 3 (co-financing): Improved community capacity to maintain handmade wells
Train communities in cost-effective well maintenance (Output 3.1) and improve handmade well infrastructure (Output 3.2).
Outcome 4 (CBA-funded): Increased forest cover to reduce climate change-induced land degradation pressures
Provide training in tree planting and agroforestry (Output 4.1), with accompanying campaigns led by farmers (Output 4.2). Identify and introduce indigenous and adapted forestry species (Output 4.3) while also implementing fire management activities (Output 4.4).
Outcome 5 (CBA-funded): Raised community awareness about long-term climate change risks
Hold trainings on climate change risks (Output 5.1) including school awareness packages (Output 5.2) and distribute other related/relevant information to communities (Output 5.3).
Outcome 6 (CBA-funded): Lessons learned
Hold policymaker forums, including at least one parliament session presentation (Output 6.1), and forums with relevant extension services (Output 6.2). Share progress reports and other informational materials with CBA team globally (Output 6.3).
Reports and Publications
Monitoring and Evaluation
In order to track project activities and ensure that project objectives are met, OIKE will institutionalize and enforce the VRA sessions supporting the IAS measurements strongly. OIKE with support from mentioned partners will attempt to capture data that will be easy to collect and easy to understand as well. This information will be used to understand and explain the effects of the project within the selected community and Otamazi/Omusati as a whole. These M&E sessions will be held on a quarterly or semester basis. VRA meetings will be conducted during the midterm of the project, that will be during December 2009 and the final VRA session will be during August 2010. Both the normal M&E and the VRA sessions will be participatory. All members participating but also observing will be invited to join the session. That way, transparency will be advocated and other community members will learn about the project in general. Potentially, problems will be identified and resolved during these sessions and project performance will be enhanced subsequently.
The IAS indicators for this project are:
1. Number of innovations or new technologies developed/applied
2. Number of local policies informed in climate change focal area
3. Number of national policies informed in climate change focal area
4. Hectares of degraded land restored by project
5. Hectares of land sustainably managed by project
6. Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to CBA project
7. Number of households who have benefited from the project
8. Number of individuals (gender disaggregated) (Youth) who have benefited from CBA project
9. Number of women participated/involved in the project.
10. Number of CBOs/NGOs participated/involved in the project.
11. Number and type of support linkages established with local/national governments/authorities
12. Total additional in cash or in kind support obtained for new initiatives and opportunities through the project.
13. Total additional in cash or in kind support obtained for sustaining, up-scaling, and replicating CBA supported project.
The above indicators will be measured during the midterm as well as at the final VRA sessions concluding the project.