What are the main aims of the programme?
The programme aims to build the resilience of vulnerable communities to climate extremes and disasters in high risk locations of Burkina Faso. These include droughts, floods, extreme temperatures and extreme precipitation.
We will work in a consortium of ten partners to:
- improve access to reliable climate information;
- improve local capacity through strategies for market diversification, such as home gardens, a broader range of irrigation systems and development of lowlands;
- better understand the specific impact of climate extremes on women and girls.
Why does Burkina Faso need this support?
The climate in Burkina Faso varies from north to south across three climatic zones – the Sahelian north, the Soudano-Sahelian centre and the Soudanien south – with increasing levels of rainfall in the southern areas. The general trend has been a decline in rainfall. Anticipated rain deficits are likely to reduce maize and forage productivity, while floods will mean that farmers without the flexibility and forecasts to switch quickly from maize and sorghum to rice will experience problems.
Impact will be felt disproportionately by women, who carry out the majority of food crop-related operations, and children. Other impacts will include rising food prices and forced migration as community members seek more viable livelihoods, often in already over-burdened urban areas.
How does the programme involve local partners and communities?
The programme brings together a wide range of local partners and utilises a mix of participatory methods. For example, we will help to establish early-warning committees at local/village level and involve the local communities in vulnerability mapping and other such exercises.
The project will also establish relationships with existing local, regional and national networks working on climate resilience. The SPONG (Permanent Secretariat of NGOs) gathers 100 organisations from across Burkina Faso and plays a role in the monitoring of agriculture, food security and social protection public policies. The CPF (Faso Farmers Federation) incorporates 14 farmer’s organisations and defends the interests of smallholders.
Where are we focusing our efforts in Burkina Faso?
We will be working across 353 target villages in the North (Passoré), Centre-North (Sanmatenga, Namentenga) and East (Gnagna) of the country.
In the Centre-North Region, the project will work in 7 communes (166 villages) in Sanmatenga and Namentenga provinces (IO-ATAD’s area of intervention) and 3 communes (62 villages) in Passoré Province in the North Region (CA-ODE’s area of intervention).
In the East region, the project will work in 3 communes (125 villages) in Gnagna Province (ACF’s area of intervention).
What is the role of the members of the consortium?
Christian Aid: main implementing partner with oversight for the work of the programme.
Oxfam Intermon: implementation of project activities in the Centre North Region.
Action Contre la Faim (ACF): implementation of project activities in Gnagna Province, East Region.
Alliance Technique d’Assistance au Développement (ATAD): design and delivery of strategies and activities to cope with climate shocks.
Office de Développement des Eglises Evangéliques (ODE): technical assistance to communities and data collection in the field.
Internews Europe: production and dissemination of climate information.
King’s College London: thematic research, production and dissemination of policy briefs and academic papers.
Met Office (UK): provide weather and climate advice.
Burkina Meteo: local partner for the Met Office, providing weather and climate advice.
Television du Burkina: production of regular weather forecasts for local radio.
Who are we working with in Burkina Faso?
The programme will focus on those living in pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in seven target areas (woredas), as listed above. This will include socio-professionals such as farmers and herders; CBOs (e.g. Village Development Committees); and vulnerable groups, primarily women and girls.
Due to their prime responsibility of caring for the household, women have been found to be the most immediately affected as they tend to prioritise their children and other family members and reduce what they eat. Women often take on extra activities to support the family during times of climatic stress - for example, opting for small trading on top of their workload in the household. In addition, women and girls have to travel longer distances in search of water as climate extremes affect water availability.
We will target communities directly through climate information and practical assistance to develop and implement community resilience plans, including activities such as nutrition training, irrigation, conservation farming and post-harvest storage, totalling 1,342,689 people.
How will we reach our audiences?
We will be utilising both text messaging and radio during this project to disseminate climate information from the Climate Science Institutions (CSI). This will include specific and reliable weather forecasts in local languages through radio. There will also be a range of participatory elements to the programme, in order to share best practice within target communities.
What will we be doing?
The project will include, but not be limited to, such exercises as:
- training in irrigation methods, nutrition, conservation farming and post-harvest storage;
- the installation and analysis of rain gauges, providing farmers with the knowledge to use rainfall records to determine appropriate planting time, based on acceptable soil moisture levels;
- initiatives to promote women’s access to agricultural extension, land tenure, services and training on farming climate adaptation techniques.
When will we be implementing the programme?
The programme will run from January 2015 – January 2018, over a 36-month period.
What is Christian Aid’s communications role?
As the lead consortium partner, Christian Aid will be responsible for capturing and amplifying the voice of citizens and communities through participatory communications techniques. We will ensure transparent messaging, a clear programme identity and appropriate communication channels, which enable stakeholders to engage with the vision and purpose of the programme.
More information on this project and other work by Christian Aid on resiliency can be found on their new website: Resilient Livelihoods Learning Space.