US$10 million to strengthen early warning systems in Zimbabwe

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By Staff Reporter

MUTARE-Zimbabwe’s efforts to tackle effects of climate change received a major boost following the release of US$10 million by the World Food Program (WPF) to strengthen early warning systems and use of climate information for agricultural programming.

Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri told journalists in the eastern border city of Mutare recently that the fund will be used to tackle integrated climate risks, management for food security and livelihoods focusing on Masvingo and Rushinga districts.

“This is the first project approved under the Multilateral Accredited Entity of the Green Climate Fund tostrengthen early warning systems and effective use of climate change information for agricultural programming.

“The fund will be managed by the Climate Change Management Department which is the country’s Green Climate Fund National Designated Authority for coordinating the project development submission and all the processes up to approval,” Shiri said.

He added that development of the project has been guided by the national climate change response strategy supported by the national climate change policy

“The approval of the grant was necessitated by the clarity of the climate issues raised in the project proposal, low social and environmental risks as well as its size. The project which seeks to address vulnerability of people and communities including women and girls will also tackle health, food and water security” said Shiri.

Climate Change Management Department director in the Ministry of Agriculture Washington Zhakata said the project will start next year (2020) and ends in 2023.

“A total of US$9.96 million will be used to roll out the four year project with US$8.86 coming from the Green Climate Fund and US$1.1 million from the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency,” Zhakata said

He said the project will strengthen capacity and systems to support national and community adaptation and management of climate risks based on climate forecasts and information

“The components of the project solidify the country’s capacity to reduce, anticipate and timely respond to the effects of climate shocks and sustain climate resilient rural development,” he said

According to the project summary details, Zimbabwe is heavily reliant on rain fed agriculture and places rural community livelihoods vulnerable to climate change. It aims to support long term adaptation to effects of climate change and variability.

More than 10 000 families are subjected to poverty and this will benefit more than 50 000 people of which 66% are women in Masvingo and Rushinga districts

Meanwhile, the country has been admitted into the United Nations Climate Change learning partnership program for Southern Africa and will receive US$100 000 from the Swiss Development Cooperation through United Nations Institute for training and research for its development of a national climate change learning strategy.