If You Can’t Beat it, Adapt to it

Report
from UN Development Programme
Published on 24 Feb 2013 View Original

Story Highlights

  • In Bara Locality, North Kordofan State, communities have been suffering from the effects of climate change, resulting in increased heat, dune encroachment, water scarcity, and diminishing crop yields and livestock production year after year.

  • Diversification of activities is one of the most effective practices for increasing the resilience of the community to harsh climatic conditions.

  • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) places more emphasis on community-led interventions to strengthen people’s resilience with focus on improved livelihood options, sustainable natural resource use, and conflict prevention.

In Bara, a locality in North Kordofan that encompasses 90 tiny villages, the greenery can be deceptive. The flat desert sprawls for miles around, dotted with tiny villages where the only colors to be seen are the bright clothes of women coming back from their weekly trip to the central market of Bara town.

A group of women is all smiles as they go through their record books and count the revenue gained from their community’s horticultural gardens and livestock production. These activities have offered them major opportunities to promote food security and improve their livelihoods, a big contrast from the past, when women had less economic value.

“We succeeded. Women are keener than men on community-related matters. Managing horticultural gardens is mostly done by women as men and youth are engaged in the gold mining rush currently flaring up in a number of places in North Kordofan and elsewhere in the country.” Says Igbal Bakri, a 49-year old mother of three children and head of the women’s village committee.

In the past few years, communities have been suffering from the effects of climate change, resulting in increased heat, dune encroachment, water scarcity, and diminishing crop yields and livestock production year after year.

Hafiz Eldouri is the director of the Agriculture Department of Bara locality and assistant director of the “Building Communities’ Resilience to Climate Change” project jointly implemented by the Higher Council for Environment and Natural Resources (HCENR) and the UNDP. Based on his experience as one of the inhabitants of this area who lived through successive years of drought, he explains “Provision of energy substitutes and water sources for livestock and horticultural gardens have spared women time and enabled them to stand against the major cause of their vulnerability, drought. It has brought about a general increase in their adaptive capacity amid harsh climatic conditions through production of vegetables, fruits, and livestock for house hold consumption and income generation.”