There is need to build resilience of local communities whose livelihoods are based on activities that are climate sensitive in the wake of impacts of climate change and variability.
Leadership for Environment and Development (Lead) director Professor Sosten Chiotha who is also coordinator for Lake Chilwa Basin Climate Change Adaptation Programme (LCBCCAP) said this in Zomba on Wednesday during progress review and planning workshop with implementing districts of Phalombe, Machinga and Zomba.
It was aimed at the programme and district agricultural staff coming together to address the gap as to what extent the programme has met and satisfied their targets during the implementation process.
He said the local communities are in fragile ecosystems and their settlements are equally vulnerable to such extreme weather events.
Said Chiotha: “The people attending this workshop are the ones that have direct contact with the people who bear the blunt of impacts of extreme weather events. We have a number of partners who generate the idea and mobilise resources to support the activities of building resilience in the communities.
“This allows us to build networks and alliances that are effective and efficient in delivering solutions. The approach for LCBCCAP is an ecosystem approach because the impacts of climate change, though global, are better tackled locally while building on global and regional lessons.”
He added that there is also need to improve agriculture productive systems and natural ecosystem to maintain the services such as water flow and biodiversity.
“We need to bridge the gap between harvests with irrigation or crops that are drought tolerant and build alliance with the private sector in value-adding of produce to fetch more money for the local communities. This is so because resilience also means having money to allow for choices of livelihoods,” said Chiotha.