Global Climate Change Alliance in Tanzania

The Tanzanian National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) has identified agriculture, rangelands, water and forestry as some of the most climate change-affected sectors.  Indeed, yields of major crops such as maize and rice have declined and groundwater levels have dropped due to rainfall pattern variability and soil erosion/degradation. In addition, deforestation rates are increasing due to overgrazing, wildfires, clearing for agriculture, charcoal production and over-exploitation of wood resources for commercial purposes. The situation is directly affecting the most vulnerable populations, which for the major part live in the rural, remote, drought- and flood-prone and food-insecure areas of the country. Women in particular are sharing a great deal of the burden. The response to such a wide range of negative effects must be holistic, integrated, multi-disciplinary and community-based.

Testing innovative adaptation measures

Overall objective:

Increase the capacity of the most vulnerable Tanzanian communities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change through sustainable use of their natural resources.

Specific objectives:

  • Support the setting up of a limited number of eco-villages where innovative adaptation measures can be tested in the field of agriculture, rangeland management, water management, sanitation and biomass energy.
  • Address energy (biomass) issues through sustainable natural resources management practices (e.g. participatory forest management).
Main expected results and activities: 

Holistic, innovative and integrated approaches are tested, adopted and shared in a limited number of areas affected by climate change (‘eco-villages’).

Three projects were selected from a call for proposals, one in each of three types of ecosystems (coastal zones and islands, drylands, and highlands) deemed particularly vulnerable to climate change. This is to ensure that successful practices can be identified and replicated across the most vulnerable areas of the country, taking account of the specific characteristics of each type of ecosystem.

The first project is being implemented on Pemba Island by the local NGO Community Forests Pemba (CFP), in collaboration with Zanzibar government authorities. Six communities are involved, in Fundo, Uvinje, Kokota, Uwandani, Vitongoji and Pujini. Main activities include the transfer of land ownership from government to communities under secure tenure arrangements; the development of agroforestry and community-based afforestation and reforestation; the implementation of kitchen gardens and resilient agricultural systems supporting diversified fruit, vegetable and nut production; livelihood diversification through activities such as the production of fuel briquettes, fuel-efficient stoves and compressed earth blocks, beekeeping and composting; investment in rainwater harvesting and seed storage facilities; and the development of alternative energy systems.

The second is being implemented in Chololo village, near Dodoma, by the Institute of Rural Development Planning in partnership with local government authorities and other organisations. Main activities include awareness raising and improved natural resources management at the community level; the promotion of “climate-smart” agricultural innovations (in areas such as the use of improved seed varieties, improved post-harvest handling and storage, soil erosion control, soil fertility and moisture management, improved livestock breeding practices); diversification into new activities such as aquaculture, beekeeping and leather making; tree planting; improvements in water supply for human and livestock use, notably through water harvesting and improved storage; the building of energy-efficient stoves with local materials and the construction of domestic biogas plants; the installation of a local weather station; the construction of an eco-village centre; and a range of activities aimed at sharing results and disseminating innovation.

The third project is located in the Uluguru Mountains. It involves 7 villages across the Morogoro and Mvomero districts. It is implemented by the Sokoine University of Agriculture. Main activities include the promotion and development of sustainable, climate-resilient agricultural practices supporting higher incomes for the population; the enhancement of water use efficiency in agricultural production; the promotion of reforestation and fuel-efficient stoves; the creation of enabling conditions to finance the adoption of new agricultural practices and investments; the establishment of community-managed organisations with adequate capacities for ensuring sustainable, fair and gender-inclusive use of natural resources; and the development of guidelines and best practices for scaling up at the national level.

All projects encourage the sustainable use of natural resources at the community level. Through this approach, it is expected that holistic, innovative and integrated methods can be tested, adopted and shared in a number of different areas of Tanzania affected by climate change. Local communities, especially women, will be empowered and more able to cope with the worst consequences of climate change. Results from the eco-village projects are to be integrated into policy making, in line with the ongoing decentralisation process.

Key achievements: 

In the coastal and islands area: Pemba Island project

  • CFP commenced the project “Resilient landscapes for resilient communities project”by establishing 5 community tree nurseries in the target villages of Uwandani, Pujini, Vitongoji and Fundo, and near the CFP office in Wete. Over 400 000 tree seedlings have been produced and 210 000 of these have been planted.  A total of 132 ha of trees have been planted to date.
  • Complementing these efforts, 11.3 hectares of community agroforestry systems have been established in target communities, another 37.4 hectares prepared, and over 70 farmers have been trained. Tree seedlings in these systems have been inter-planted with annual crops including maize, watermelon, tomato, sweet pepper, pineapple, and sunflower.
  • To secure community investment in afforestation, reforestation and the establishment of agroforestry systems, target village areas have been surveyed by the Zanzibar government’s Department of Lands and Surveys (DLS), and land transfers to local communities for a total of 57.9 ha completed..This is expected to lead to the transfer of title deeds to community ownership that will protect community lands used for environmental conservation and restoration purposes, and promises to add robustness and permanence to project outcomes. A legally binding agreement between the Zanzibar Government and the target communities is being drafted to prevent unsustainable land use activities onsite into the future, and title deeds are expected to be issued by the Zanzibar Government in August.
  • Water scarcity has been a significant obstacle to adaptation and development in the islet target communities of Kokota and Uvinje. To address this, a rainwater harvesting system with a maximum capacity of 350 000 litres has been successfully installed at the Kokota primary school, which was built with CFP support.
  • CFP’s Agricultural Officer has trained over 50 women to establish kitchen gardens next to their houses.  In conjunction with the kitchen gardens, the Agricultural Officer has assisted the 5 target communities to establish communal compost piles, and has provided training in the production and use of organic pest controls.  The compost facilities have already produced two rounds of compost for community kitchen gardens, and a third set of compost is currently in process.  In addition, CFP is currently testing the effectiveness of fertilizer made from local leguminous trees and seaweed.  Once these natural fertilizers are refined at the CFP Resource Center, they will be utilized within the community kitchen gardens.  In one community alone, a nutrient rich vegetable known locally as “matembele” was introduced there by CFP staff, and now most households within the community have small matembele plots growing immediately outside their doors.
  • 140 women have been trained in construction of fuel efficient cookstoves and have produced over 300 cookstoves using locally available clay.  In a very successful ‘teacher training’ model, these participants are now helping members of their wider communities to produce their own fuel efficient stoves as well.  This activity has proven to be very popular among women and the spread of this technology through women's groups is occurring rapidly.  CFP staff is monitoring the improved efficiencies resulting from the use of these stoves and tracking the overall impact of the ‘teacher training’ model.  So far the success of this model is very encouraging, and CFP has applied it to the fuel briquette training.   20 fuel briquette presses have been constructed and delivered to communities.  Fuel briquette training took place in May, and trained 35 women in briquette production. These 35 women have gone on to train an additional 42 women in fuel briquette production.
  • Five compressed stabilized earth block (CSEB) machines have been provided to working communities, and the production of 10 more machines has been contracted to local skilled tradesmen.  At the request of target communities, the CSEB technology will be used to build efficient low-cost housing. Fifteen houses are now under construction with the support of local savings groups. To help demonstrate the effectiveness and low cost of the earth blocks, CFP is building toilets for Kokota’s newly constructed primary school using the blocks produced on site.
  • CFP has distributed 100 beehives to communities in order to attract swarming colonies, and communities are reporting that a number of the hives are now occupied.  A CFP Apiary Officer and professional beekeepers from Canada have provided advanced training in apiary management and beeswax and honey processing to 19 community members.  The apiary officer has continued on site training with these 19 members to train an additional 30 beekeepers. CFP personnel are also working with the local hotel industry to develop a market for future honey and wax products provided through the co-ops.
  • In the field of alternative energy, portable solar panels and a micro-grid have been installed, powering a cell phone charging station, a school energy system and lighting for 79 homes.

In the drylands: Chololo eco-village project

  • Preparation for the 2012/13 cropping season involved sensitization of farmers, engagement of community members on use of animal traction, procurement of seeds, participatory selection of farmers for undertaking demonstration of all agricultural technologies introduced in the village.  Farmers were introduced to seed regulations regarding Quality Declared Seed (QDS). Thirty eight (38) farmers were selected and supplied foundation seeds for quality declared seed production. Other improved seeds (drought tolerant and early maturing) were distributed to 405 farmers. Farmers were trained on the best agronomic practices required for improving crop production tailored to recommended spacing, thinning and incorporation of farmyard manure. Despite inadequate rains received during 2012/13 growing season, the performance of crops is promising as compared to other villages in Dodoma. Chololo farmers are towards the end of harvesting. Sunflower production however will be minimal because of inadequate and poor distribution of rains in February/March 2013. This was complemented by the earlier supply of ox-drawn tillage implements and improved, high-yielding and drought-tolerant seeds (notably pearl millet, sorghum, sunflower, groundnuts, cowpeas). A study to identify income generation activities of most benefit to women has also been carried out. Initial results from the introduction of improved farming practices show markedly improved yields for sorghum (+137% on average), pearl millet (+ 105%), sunflower (+ 252%) and sunflower oil (+383%). Significant improvements in food security have been reported, and improved yields have resulted in increased income for participating farmers.
  • Livestock keepers have been trained in improved management of cattle, goats and chicken. This was followed by the supply of improved Mpwapwa breed bulls, blended goat bucks and improved cocks. Two of the introduced Mpwapwa bulls died due to diseases, others (28) have good health and are above 18 months old. Therefore they have started mating local cows (Tanzania Shorthorn Zebu). The 48 surviving healthy goat bucks and have started mating with local female goats. Some of the local female goats (does) mated with blended bucks have started kidding. To date there are over 200 kids. 99 out of 126 introduced improved cocks are progressing well. Vaccination and treatment of bacterial and worm infection was done to 5,782 chickens. Chicken keepers have been selling mature crosses of chicken at about 8,000/= to 10,000/=.  60 Chololo beekeepers (49 males and 11 females) were trained. Areas for establishing improved pastures have been demarcated, and improved pastures and browse species have been planted in 10 acres.
  • To support aquaculture development, 11 fishponds have been established, of which 5 already have adult tilapia; owners sell fingerlings to other keepers. As far as beekeeping is concerned, 60 modern beehives have been introduced and 60 beekeepers trained. Two village carpenters were trained on making modern beehives so that the villagers can buy at low price. The challenge on this activity is that there was not enough rainfall in 2012/13 season therefore most of the beehives still have no bees.
  • The production of first-grade leather has also started, and commercial outlets are being investigated. The project provided leather tanning training for 16 days to 40 participants. To date the leather group have produced 170 pieces of leather. Four villagers from leather group have participated in training on leather making goods which was conducted by SIDO Dodoma Region. The training has helped the group members to make different leather goods such as sandals, key holders, phone covers and other products by using leather produced from Chololo.
  • Community members and village leaders have been trained on afforestation, nursery management and tree planting. Two tree nurseries have been established at the village school and borehole. A total of 22 300 trees have been planted in household yards, village forest reserves, church yards, a primary school and a dispensary, showing a 70% survival rate. Dodoma Environmental Network made use of tree nursery groups, village environmental committee and the community to the management of tree nurseries and tree planting in the community reserve and households surroundings. This season 4,653 trees were planted. Survey and demarcation of boundaries of village land was carried out using GPS. The Chololo community members identified the future plans for their natural resources by drawing sketch maps on the ground, on paper and by observing the land use of the village. The members of village government and the land use committee were facilitated to develop bylaws on water resources management, forest resources conservation, good agricultural practices, settlement and local transport nodes of the village, environmental conservation and pasture management and use of alternative sources of energy.
  • The take up of fuel-efficient stoves has improved since year 1, when it was difficult to find residents willing to change from their traditional three stones to the improved stoves. However now that well over 100 have been installed there has been a shift of attitude and uptake, as more householders, particularly women, have come to understand and internalise the benefits: being able to cook using two pots at once, less smoke in the home, safer environment for children, and significant reduction in fuel use, meaning that women now only need to go to the forest – a five hour round trip - to collect wood one a week instead of three times. The ten domestic biogas plants in the village are all operational and a stock of spare parts (e.g. gas mantles, glass lamp covers) has been established for owners to be able to replace breakages /consumables.
  • As far as water is concerned, a comprehensive study of groundwater level changes over recent years has been conducted. Other important activities carried out include the repair of village boreholes, the re-establishment of water supply to some domestic water points, the construction of a rainwater harvesting system on the roof of the primary school and the construction of a sub-surface dam and sand dam for ground catchment enhancement.
  • The construction of the eco-village centre building has now been completed, and although it is not yet fully equipped, it is already being used for training sessions, meetings and office activities. The local weather station is up and running, recording rainfall, temperature, wind speed, wind direction and atmospheric pressure.
  • Visibility actions have involved the organisation of farmers’ field days, and the use of national television, radio, newspapers and leaflets for wide sharing and dissemination. Project successes are regularly documented on the web through the project website, and a project video has been produced. The project has featured in the Global Climate Change Alliance first Global Learning Event and in national workshops on climate change at the University of Dar es Salaam and the Ministry of Agriculture. It has been visited by national policy makers but also neighbouring village representatives. Importantly, progressive farmers from Chololo village have also started telling their story and training farmers in other villages.
  • The Deputy Minister Hon. Charles Kitwange visited Chololo Ecovillage with 27 farmers from Mwanza. Articles related to project activities were published in Ulimwengu wa Mkulima Farmer’s World magazine, Mwananchi and Daily news. Also Radio one on 07-08/06/2013 and BBC on 18/02/2013 aired some of project activities. The project progress report was presented to the Parliament on 19/04/2013. The project continued to feed project progress information into Chololo website and Facebook page. The website is currently being viewed by over 300 people per month, and has received over 5200 views since being established. The Facebook page now has 37 ‘likes’ and reaches over 120 people per week. Chololo Ecovillage video was shown at various seminars and conferences for other to learn from the Chololo experience of climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques.

In the highlands: Uluguru Mountains project

  • Initially a process of introducing the project to the community was undertaken during which time the communities were sensitized about the issues of climate change and then informed about what the project was trying to achieve. Participatory action planning was carried out where the initial activities were identified together with responsibilities of different stakeholders . Various interest groups like ward and village governments, environmental committees, youth groups, school environmental clubs and local technicians have been involved.
  • Various technical interventions to counter the impact of climate change have been demonstrated, including sustainable agricultural practices, fruit and forest tree nursery establishment and tree planting, rain water harvesting, irrigation water management and natural resource governance. Efforts have also been made to link the target group to potential markets for their agricultural products.
  • Twenty-four demonstration plots on contour strip planting and 6 demonstration plots on permanent terracing have been established.
  • Five fruit tree nurseries and 4 spice tree nurseries have been established by environmental groups. Six schools have also established forest tree nurseries. More than 10 000 seedlings have been produced so far.
  • Seven aquaculture ponds have been constructed, and farmers supported with fingerlings for fish farming.
  • Three irrigation canals have been upgraded.
  • Nine school environmental clubs have been set up (3 in secondary schools and 6 in primary schools). Pupils have planted trees on school land and also in their home yards.
  • Seven rain gauges (one in each village) have been installed and are fully operational.
  • Tree nursery groups and 5 water user associations have been established.
  • Training has involved hands-on practical training, demonstrations, study tours and through stakeholder meetings. Farmers and extension staff have participated in a study tour to Mbinga District to study community-based initiatives for managing community forest and water resources.
  • As a result of the various project activities community awareness about climate change has increased, tree planting is being undertaken, environmental committees are now more aware of their responsibilities and new markets have been identified where farmers have been able to sell their products. Interesting local initiatives have been triggered at the margin of the project, such as cooperation between village environmental committees and village governments to plant trees to protect river banks and water catchments, the adoption of by-laws to improve the management of local environmental resources, and the direct selling of fruit to a processor in Dar es Salaam by a local fruit producer cooperative.
Lessons learned: 
  • Local government capacity to effectively manage climate change planning and implementation must be addressed, and this capacity sustained in the longer term. 
  • Community participation (with a focus on women) at all stages of the project cycle, trust building at various levels and a focus on education and awareness are key success factors. A very participatory approach is needed to identify both the activities that best suit local needs and the best approach to implementing them. Demonstrating win-win or no-regret actions with clear benefits as early as possible, and communicating climate change and adaptation measures in an appropriate context, help establish good relations with targeted communities.
  • Demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of the proposed measures and interventions is essential. The proposed adaptation measures must be seen to generate income and result in improved livelihoods. To ensure technological sustainability, projects should promote low-cost solutions for which knowledge, rather than technical sophistication, is the main barrier – solutions that can be implemented and maintained with local resources, without or with only minimal external support.
  • Knowledge transfer from the eco-village experience to a wider group of stakeholders at local, regional and national levels must be actively managed.  For example, the project can be linked to existing development planning processes, and project strategy can be guided through a local representative advisory board that may also include technical staff from relevant central government bodies. Local farmers should be trained and supported in pilot villages so that they become trainers for other farmers (as well as students) and help disseminate innovation. Easy access should be provided to eco-village sites to enable key decision makers to view the adaptation initiatives, thus creating opportunities to link the field experience to policy formulation.
  • With activities that are dependent upon growing seasons and community consultation processes, sufficient time must be allocated to deliver results. Changing practices in natural resource use is a long-term process. Local stakeholder capacities need to be built in terms of relevant knowledge and skills but also attitudes. Projects need to work with long-term objectives in mind and foster a transition to new ways of doing things.
  • Mapping and territorial planning are useful tools to support adaptation in relation to natural resource management. However, land use planning may have to be introduced and developed only after having responded to community priorities, as a way of obtaining the community’s trust and confidence. For example, improving water supply can usefully prepare the ground for the promotion of reforestation. 
  • A range of skills and experience (in areas such as water, energy, livestock, forestry, cultivation, etc.) should be available in the implementation team, to enable rapid responses to the wide spectrum of community adaptation needs.
Way forward: 
  • Eco-village projects will be proceeding until the end of 2013, on the basis of ongoing and some additional planned activities. 
  • Building on the lessons learned from the first GCCA programme, a second GCCA Tanzania initiative is in preparation, with a view to scaling up the eco-village approach. It will notably aim to enhance institutional capability to mainstream climate-related issues at the local government level, and place extra emphasis on building and disseminating knowledge about climate-related vulnerabilities and climate change adaptation solutions that are appropriate in the context of specific agro-ecological zones in Tanzania. 

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