UNDP capacitates communities on climate change
THE Forestry ministry recently joined hands with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to host the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) exhibition at Thaba Mokhele Community Council in Mohale’s Hoek.
The exhibition, which is being implemented in the three community councils of Khoelenya, Lithipeng and Thaba-Mokhele, seeks to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities by enhancing the capacity of government institutions and local communities to mainstream climate change risks into community development.
The government institutions and local communities will be capacitated to implement climate-smart ecosystem rehabilitation and management measures into local and national development planning.
The Minister of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation, ‘Mamotsie Motsie, said training had been provided through the project to staff in various ministries to enable them to effectively support participating communities in building climate-change adaptation skills.
“The project works with local communities in three community councils who voluntarily engaged in the interventions aimed at improving their skills to sustain their livelihoods through implementation of sustainable land management and Climate-Smart Agriculture techniques,” Ms Motsie said.
“I also encourage technical staff in the line ministries, particularly, district technical teams to continue supporting our communities to put in place strategies that will ensure sustainability of these efforts even after the life of the project,” she added.
For his part, UNDP Resident Representative, Salvator Niyonzima, said Lesotho and other countries in the Southern African region have been facing several climate change impacts such as heavy rain and hails storms, frost, floods and drought which resulted in the destruction and loss of infrastructure, property, crops and livelihoods.
“Destructive rainstorms including the recent ones in Quthing and the recurrent droughts are evidence of how climate change can reverse all our hard work and livelihoods.
“While we cannot control these natural events, we can work at strengthening the capacities of communities to be better prepared and respond to these vagaries of the weather. Therefore the UNDP in collaboration with other UN agencies supported Lesotho to develop a National Resilience Framework,” Mr Niyonzima said.
A local farmer, Khutliso Salemane, said they were grateful for the project as it had taught them ways of farming despite the impacts of climate change.
“Through this project we were able to harvest. Before then many had lost hope that they would ever harvest anything due to the impact of climate change where their crops kept being destroyed,” Salemane said.