Outputs of the programme

The following are the major outputs that the programme has made so far by the end of year 2011:

a) Capacity of local and district institutions to implement climate change adaptations increased

In striving to secure the social and ecological resilience of the basin, the Programme has improved the knowledge, attitude and practices of district and local institutions to manage natural resources sustainably and build resilience to climate change through training and other awareness-raising activities. A total of 53 stakeholder groups (973 people) including members of parliament, district technical personnel, extension workers, community based environment and natural resources management committees and radio listening clubs have been trained in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Five radio listening clubs have been established and have so far developed and broadcasted over 30 programmes on the public radio station, MBC Radio I. This has resulted in improved knowledge, attitude and practices among hotspot communities on the causes and impacts of climate change and mitigation and adaptation measures. To date, we estimate that 70 percent of basin communities understand climate change compared with 15 percent at the start of the Programme in 2010.

b) Household and enterprise adaptive capacity of producer groups Improved

To improve household and enterprise adaptive capacity of producer groups, the Programme trained and provided business support to 25 producer groups involving 300 business persons (which translates into 1500 beneficiaries), who include women fish traders and pigeon pea farmers. Material support included construction and provision of solar fish driers and fuel-saving fish smoking kilns to 3 women fish trading groups and linking of smallholder pigeon pea farmers to lucrative markets in Blantyre. The solar-dried and smoked fish is now being packaged and sold in chain stores while the pigeon peas is sold in bulk to Rab Processors in Blantyre. This has resulted in 125 percent increase in revenue generated from fish sales by women fish traders while the total revenue generated by pigeon pea farmers has increased by 20%. In 2011, the farmers sold 28 tons of pigeon to Rab Processors from which they realised K1.4 million (approx. US$8,500).

c) Climate Change mitigation enhanced through improved forest management practices

The Programme also took efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change through improved forest management and governance. The Programme has facilitated establishment of 20 Village Forest Areas and planting of over 1 million tree seedlings in the basin, in villages surrounding Thuma Forest Reserve and in Chiradzulu. In addition, fire management efforts have been improved in Zomba Mountain Forest Reserve. As a result, the area damaged by fire has been reduced by 22.5% from the baseline of 102.6 ha.

d) Food security improved in the hotspots

The Programme has supported 269 smallholder households to undertake conservation agriculture on 44 hectares. With this support, beneficiaries are able to get at least 750 kg of maize per household per annum, which is enough to last all the year round unlike in the past when they could harvest 200 kg, on average, which lasted 4 – 6 months.

e) Burden of Bilhazia reduced in the basin

The Programme provided treatment to 9,095 people and 85 pupils that were either infected or had high probability of being infected with Bilharzia in response to a request from basin stakeholders on the need to integrate Bilharzia control in Programme activities. This has resulted in improved community participation in climate change mitigation and adaptation activities due to reduced disease burden.