UNA Tanzania is implementing the climate resilience project in Mpwapwa District which aims to pilot a 7-pillar regional resilience model in Tanzania to strengthen the ability of communities to cope with and regulate the effects of climate change. The 7 pillars model focuses on engaging the communities to drive their nature-based solutions which can help create sustainable living conditions in their villages. The 7 pillars are natural resources management and environmental sustainability; community health and water; governance and human rights-based approaches; economic empowerment; peace building, safety and security; infrastructure development as well as education empowerment. The project is conducted in partnership with IAS Kenya and LM in Tanzania.
Agriculture, livestock rearing, and a few, small-scale industries make up the largest percentage of Mpwapwa District’s economy. In the Council, more than 80% of the workforce is still employed in the agricultural industry. The majority of farmers practice subsistence farming, which results in poor production in terms of both quantity and quality thus low revenue. In rural Wards of the District, crop production is a vital economic activity, followed by livestock rearing. Major food crops are maize, millet, beans, paddy, and sweet potatoes whereas major cash crops are groundnuts, onions, Sesame, and sunflower.
On the 14 and 15th of September, UNA Tanzania conducted training on rainwater harvesting, food preservation, and enhancing the crop value chain to 50 villagers from all the villages within Ngh’ambi Ward, Mpwapwa District. Day one of the training was dedicated to rainwater harvesting. The villagers were trained on effective means of trapping rainwater, conservation measures, costs & benefits of rainwater harvesting. This is an important aspect of enhancing climate resilience in the ward. The conserved water has the ability to remain available for usage and crop cultivation even during long periods of droughts. This reduces the distance and time spent to fetch water thus avoiding risk of violence. This is crucial, especially in improving security for women as they are mostly in charge of collecting water in households.
Day 2 of the training was devoted to food preservation techniques and enhancing the crop value chain. The training focused on utilizing local, cost-effective methods that villagers can afford to preserve their food for consumption and to add value to their crops for business. This approach is particularly beneficial for small-scale farmers, as it can significantly increase their income. Apart from that, it ensures availability of food at household even during unfavourable seasons.
“As a mother this training has helped me a lot. I am now aware of varous methods of rain water harvesting that I can use to ensure water availability at home for cooking, washing clothes, drinking and even to grow vegetables. To add up, the food preservation techniques and methods to add value to crops will help me to harvest nutritious crops with the best quality”, says Christina Msanjila from Kazania village.