Enabling Local Authorities to Lead Efforts in Climate
Change Responsein the Lake Victoria Basin
This one year SIDA funded project seeks to enable Local Authorities, as grassroots government structures have a direct responsibility in managing and protecting their communities against the adversities of climate change through the exercise of their planning, regulatory and enforcement mandates. The overall goal of the project is to "contribute towards reduced vulnerabilities to climate change amongst Lakeshore communities in the Lake Victoria Basin." It intends to support the Local authorities to develop a comprehensive climate change adaptation strategy to which several actors including; governments, civil society, private sector and local authorities themselves subscribe. To support development of such a strategy, the project is facilitating the local authorities carry out research to identify areas in the Basin with high and low risks of vulnerabilities related to Climate Change, describe the communities' and household's coping strategies and assess the adequacy of the coping strategies in order to characterize viable adaptation strategies.
In addition, the project aims at providing best practices that would facilitate adoption of climate change response strategies into the Local Authorities' Environmental Plans within the Lake Victoria Basin. This will be done through a combination of skills building, technological inventions and policy influence at the local authority level. Local Authority officials, women and youth will be trained on green energy options such as bio-gas and energy saving stove technologies. Model Climate Change Villages will be established and used as the learning and promotional units together with the Environment Pedagogic Centers.
The knowledge generated and the lessons documented will be replicated and scaled up to inform local policy and strategy design. The three key outputs envisaged through this project are:
1. Knowledge generation on the vulnerability of the populations in the LVB to climate change and viability of their coping strategies established.
2. Increased uptake of green energy technologies amongst the LVRLAC member Local Authorities by Dec 2011.
3. Enhanced knowledge base and access to mechanisms for local climate change response.
The main target groups of the project are the Local Authority leadership in selected member Local Authorities, communities in the Lake Victoria Basin prone to climate change variability, community groups within the targeted model villages, researchers and learners in the local institutions and the unemployed youth within the target member Local Authorities. The project responds to the LVRLAC Strategic Plan 2009-2014 objective 3; which seeks to "Establish and promote a comprehensive region-wide framework for sustainable environmental/natural resource management and mitigation of climate change so as to guide the individual plans of member Local Authorities and enhance their potential for resource mobilization". It is also aligned to the Sida focus area of environment, climate change and shared natural resources and the EAC policy on Food Security and Climate Change.