The Canadian Government has allocated $15 million (Canadian) to support Mennonite Central Committee’s work in climate change adaptation, with a focus on empowering women and girls in Zimbabwe.
The contribution will provide funds over two and a half years for a project called Locally-Led Indigenous Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation in Zimbabwe.
The LINCZ project will benefit more than 48,000 people in the districts of Binga, Gwanda and Mwenezi. All three areas have experienced significant loss in biodiversity and ecosystems. Drought is becoming more frequent throughout the region, with food insecurity on the rise.
“The situation is dire,” said Thelma Sadzamari, MCC’s area co-director for Southern and Central Africa and Nigeria. “Many, many families don’t have enough to eat. There are no easy solutions, but we’re seeing signs of hope in places like Zimbabwe.”
The signs include nature-based projects like reforestation, wetland rehabilitation and conservation agriculture; training in beekeeping as an alternative source of income; and eco-friendly stoves and other energy saving technologies designed by women engineers.
“These local solutions have proven to be very effective in addressing the effects of climate change,” Sadzamari said. “With the help of the funding for the LINCZ project, MCC is eager to continue and broaden this work.”
MCC will implement the project with three partners in Zimbabwe, scaling up climate change adaptation work that has already demonstrated success: Brethren in Christ Compassionate Development Services, Kulimambobumi Training Centre and Score Against Poverty.
The funding will also support research on climate change adaptation. This component will be carried out in partnership with Canadian Mennonite University and two academic institutions in Zimbabwe: the National University of Science and Technology and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility at Bindura University of Science Education.
“These funds will allow MCC to increase our impact and strengthen partnerships with local innovators,” said MCC Canada executive director Rick Cober Bauman. “Over the past number of years, MCC has deepened our commitment to addressing the effects of climate change, working with local partners to find effective, sustainable solutions. This project is a wonderful example of those solutions at work.”