Rumbidzayi Zinyuke and Nyasha Mapasa
Government has received more than US$15 million from development partners for three climate change programmes that are expected to assist the country to achieve its vision of a low carbon and climate-resilient country in line with nationally developed contributions as provided for under the Paris Agreement.
The funds include a US$10 million grant from World Food Programme (WFP) for the integrated climate risk management for food security and livelihoods in Masvingo and Rushinga districts, a five million Euro fund from Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) aimed at reducing nitrous oxide emissions from Sable Chemicals as well as a US$100 000 grant from the Swiss Development Corporation to strengthen institutional capacities in addressing climate change.
Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri yesterday told journalists in Mutare that WFP had approved US$10 million grant for the Green Climate Fund project.
He said the project, which would run for four years starting in January 2020, would wholly focus on climate change adaptation within the framework of increased resilience for vulnerable communities, including women and girls, and the health and well-being as well as food and water security.
“This project emanates from the observation that the Zimbabwean economy is heavily reliant on rain-fed agriculture, thus making the livelihoods of its rural communities highly vulnerable to climate change.
“It aims at directly supporting long-term adaptation to the effects of climate change and variability of 10 000 vulnerable, food-insecure households, translating to benefits for 50 000 people, of which 66 percent are women in Masvingo and Rushinga districts of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Minister Shiri also said the project is in line with Government’s Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) as it will enhance the investment capacity of small-holder farmers to sustain climate resilient development gains.
Government will also implement a five million Euro project in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) aimed at nitrous oxide reduction.
The project will directly benefit Sable Chemicals, which operates the only nitric acid plant in Zimbabwe.
Minister Shiri said NACAG had already started working with Sable Chemicals.
“As I speak, the feasibility study has been completed and Sable Chemicals is considering which technology to choose from the two available technologies for nitrous oxide abatement so far offered in the market,” he said.
He said the plant has an annual potential emission reductions estimated at around 470 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, which would contribute significantly towards Zimbabwe’s nationally determined contribution commitment and the Low Emissions Development trajectory towards enhanced climate change mitigation.
“I wish to thank the Germany Government for availing this opportunity, which will not only reduce nitrous oxide emissions at Sable Chemicals, but will also assist in retooling their plant with modern efficient technology which enhances the company’s competitiveness.”
Zimbabwe was recently admitted into the United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership Programme for Southern Africa and will receive US$100 000 to strengthen institutional capacities in addressing climate change.
Minister Shiri said the grant from Swiss Development Cooperation through the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) came at an opportune time as the country has started working on mainstreaming climate change in development planning.
He said climate change would be introduced in the learning curriculum for the primary and secondary education.
“The Climate Change Management Development will work with the ministries responsible for education, the Environmental Management Agency, Development Reality Institute, Civil Society Organisations, among other institutions in the process of development of the National Climate Change Learning Strategy,” he said.