With funds from UNDP, the Advocacy Initiative for Development – Sierra Leone (AID-SL) engages key District Stakeholders in Kambia and Kono on Adaptive Capacities of Climate Change on Water Services.
Since 2012, AID-SL has been working extensively with the UNDP in enriching and transforming lives and communities in Sierra Leone. In April, 2019, AID-SL successfully solicited funding from UNDP to implement an engagement titled: “Awareness Raising on Adaptive Capacities of Water Services to Climate Change” in both Kono and Kambia Districts, between April and July 2019. AID/SL in close collaboration with Civil Society Organizations in both districts identified and mobilized the project communities their beneficiaries.
The full implementation of the project activities started with two inception meetings organized and held in Kono and Kambia. In Kono, it was held at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office at Bona Street in Koidu City. For Kambia, the Lunching was done at the District Resources Centre, Kambia town. The two meetings targeted sixty (60) Key Stakeholders, thirty from each District. Participants who attended both sessions were invited from the Local council, Traditional Leadership (Chiefs), MDA`s, WASH-Net members, NGO`s in WASH, Youths, Women, EPA, ONS, Communities members and Civil Society groups and Activist.
The Chairman, council of Paramount Chiefs, Kono, Emmanuel T. Foryor chaired the Event in Kono. Whiles in Kambia, the Deputy Chief Administrator, Jonathan Conteh for Kambia District Council serves as chairman. The events were well attended as detailed information about the project was disclosed. The objective of the event was to increase stakeholder’s knowledge about the project details including activities and its designed objectives. To ensure effective project monitoring and quality compliance, copies of the project set objectives, activities and expected comes were given to each participant present. All stakeholders who attended the event made firm commitment on behalf of their institutions as a way to support the awareness raising drive on the issues and effect of climate change on our water services.
Furthermore, in the implementation of project activities, two Focus Group discussions were held with project beneficiaries to thoroughly discuss the causes, effects, perpetrators and prone communities and seriously affected communities to climate change and it`s consequence on our water services within the two Districts. It was discussed, agreed and noted that climate change effect is visible and experience in the communities and the districts therefore requires serious attention by the district stakeholders. Few climate change effects and causes discussed were continuous deforestation activities even within reserved forest areas, indiscriminate mining activities, water and air pollution. Highly affected communities Identified in Kono were Kombayendeh in Lei Chiefdom, Tama forest in Sandor Chiefdom and Kwidadu and Chenedu in Gbense Chiefdom and Konta and Kenema communities in Khoninaka Chiefdom, Kambia District. The focus group discussions increased stakeholder’s knowledge on climate change and its hazards to the environment and our water services.
Also, four Dialogue Fora between Duty bearers and Right holders were organized and held in both districts. The engagement created a level playing field for the two groups to discuss the effect of climate change on our water service/points. The fora were participatory and inclusive for the participants who make the engagement more interactive and result oriented.
The council Chairman Mohamed Yayah Bangura expressed gratitude to UNDP for providing funds to AID/SL for such activities n his district. He noted it was his first opportunity to engage in climate change project face-to-face his people in the district. He was quick to point that the issue of climate change has caused sufferings to his people as he said almost every year, houses would be blown off, poor harvest as a result of the change in the weather pattern, water shortages etc. He promised to work with other stakeholders to put and enforce bye-laws on tree-felling, charcoal burning and timber-logging although he acknowledged the enormity of the task ahead.
It all ended with adoptable resolutions and actions with responsible persons in the awareness raising drive to Mitigate the effect of climate change on our water services at all levels.
District Level Resolutions and Actions
- Develop Community Bye Laws on the cutting down of trees
- Identify and develop chiefdom reserve forest.
- Councils to develop climate change strategy and plans.
- Councils to identify and organize coordination meeting for partners working on climate change.
- To undertake robust monitoring exercise of deforestation activities.
- Popularize national documents on climate change at community levels.
- Communities and stakeholders to embark on regular tree planting exercise.
National Level Engagements/Actions
- Government through parliament to develop and have policies, laws, national strategy and plan on climate change mitigation.
- Simplify and make available approved documents relating to climate change.
- Ensure Enforcement of the policies and laws.
- Government to make strong position that politicians should take hands off the timber logging exercise (Orders from Above).
Increasing stakeholder’s awareness on climate change issues on our water points in Kambia and Kono, AID-SL has these activities ongoing: regular radio discussions and phoning programmes. The radio discussion panelists are identified and drowned from Local Councils, MDA`s and CSOs to discuss, key amongst many is the impact of climate change on our water resources. Two drama groups were contracted to perform skits on climate change effect on our water services in both districts, especially in disaster prone communities. While AID-SL will continue its routine follow up exercise in the communities to ensure compliance and note change and case stories.