By John Chola
The Dutch government through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has given a total of €9 million, equivalent to K179.4 million, to civil society organization partners for them to help communities in 10 Zambia’s districts cope with the challenge of climate change.
And Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu has congratulated organisations which have been contracted and urged them to ensure that the grants were used prudently to ensure maximum benefits accrue to targeted communities.
Under the partnership, WWF Zambia is working together with consortium partners – Hivos Zambia, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), South South North (SSN) and Akina Mama Wa Afrika (AMwA).
Speaking at the unveiling of the alliance for voices for climate action civil society organisation partners at Lusaka’s Protea Towers, Nzovu noted that the project was targeting vulnerable communities across 10 districts, which include Luangwa, Rufunsa, Chongwe, Lusaka and Kafue.
Other targeted districts are Chirundu, Siavonga, Chikankata, Mazabuka and Itezhi-tezhi) in the Kafue flats and Lusaka province region over the next five years.
Nzovu said the alliance partners identified and contracted a total of fifteen (15) Civil Society Organizations and one (1) government department to sub grant a total of 1, 280, 000 Euros with each grant recipient receiving 80, 000 Euros per year in 2021.
“Government takes climate change seriously as it is already affecting the achievement of our development goals, especially on our natural resources which constitute the bedrock upon which the livelihoods of our people depend. We therefore need to take concerted efforts to ensure that we safeguard the lives and livelihoods of our people,” said Nzovu.
He lamented that recent scientific findings both at the global level and local assessments indicated that the effects of climate change may become more serious in the coming years.
The Minister said that government had put in place a conducive policy framework to enable all players to play their role in fighting the challenge of climate change adding that this was out of the recognition that the state alone, would not be able to effectively address the disaster.
Therefore, Nzovu added, such efforts by WWF and its partners are highly valued by government as they go a long way in ensuring that the country achieve its objectives in addressing this challenge.
He thanked the Dutch government for the support to the climate action process and assure them that Zambia would not take the generosity for granted.
The Minister said government was hopeful that the donated resources would be put to good use to ensure that the livelihoods of Zambian people in targeted areas were improved.