Innocent Ruwende in Bulawayo
Government has launched the Building Capacity to Advance National Adaptation Planning Process, which is the country’s first project funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a financial mechanism under The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to the tune of US$3 million.
The project, which is running from this year up to 2021, is meant to support the country’s National Adaptation Plan process to facilitate adaptation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Speaking at the launch in Bulawayo, Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrence Shiri, who was represented by his principal director Mr Reston Muzamhindo, said Government appreciated the efforts by the Green Climate Fund in advancing $3 million to Zimbabwe for strengthening adaptation planning.
“This will climate proof the socio-economic sectors underpinning the country namely: agriculture, water, energy, healthy, infrastructure, forest and biodiversity,” he said. “The thrust of adapting to climate change and variability in Zimbabwe is focused at decoupling the link between rainfall, temperature and socio-economic activities.
“Hence adaptation remains a growing priority requiring the urgent and immediate support in financial terms. Climate change has changed rainfall behaviour, at times with rainfall intensities that result in flooding. We have observed bridges and dams being swept away, cutting off communities from service delivery.”
Minister Shiri said the recent rains had been accompanied by very strong winds that caused extensive damage to town and rural settlements in provinces such as Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland South.
In Mashonaland Central, he said, there was extensive damage to homes in Chitsungo Ward 10, while a school had its roof blown off in Ward 5’s Chidodo area and houses in Beitbridge were also damaged.
“In the last week, we witnessed intense flooding in Chiredzi,” said Minister Shiri. “These issues, ladies and gentlemen, call for urgent need for adaptation in order to climate proof our economy. Zimbabwe’s vulnerability to climate change is exacerbated by the fact that the key socio-economic sectors underpinning the economy are sensitive to weather and temperature variability.
“Subsequently, a change in climate is a serious threat to food security and the economy at large.”
UN Environment’s GCF/National Adaptation Plan task manager for Africa Office Mr Kouadio N’Goran said despite the remarkable effort African countries are doing to build climate change resilience, countries, including Zimbabwe, had indicated they lack the capacity to put in place the systematic approaches needed to incorporate climate change risks and opportunities in its National and Sub-national planning process.