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« St. Lucia: Adaptation, Agriculture and Livelihoods | Main | Kingdom of Lesotho: Climate Change Related Poor Harvests »
Wednesday
Oct172012

Mozambique: Finding Climate Smart Agricultural Solutions to Famine

Phipps Campira (Mozambique), Zipo Akinyi (Kenya/New Zealand), and Lenneke Knoop (The Netherlands) have been working for the past two months on a project in the community of Mezimbite, Mozambique. 566 households (3,400 people) are frequently suffering from constant famine caused by poor agricultural production capacity, a lack of knowledge improved agricultural practices and climate change related unpredictable rain and extreme weather events.

Famine takes away healthy live years from members of the community and can lead to food insecurity and malnutrition thereby reducing overall productivity, well-being, and social status. When children are under-nourished this will lead to a disturbed development, affected school participation, which could lead to a vicious circle. Malnourished and diseased community members are unable to produce sufficient food and income for themselves and to lead the productive, meaningful, prosperous lives they need to leave the cycle of poverty and contribute to the development of their communities.

Participatory Needs Assessment

After conducting a participatory needs assessment with the community members of Mezimbite the team developed this project outline to increase crop production, reduce malnutrition and improve food security and reduced mortality rates among children and the community.

Their simple project outline:

[Problem 1]. Chronic famine among the community.
Climate smart Agricultural Practices Program
[solution to underlying cause: Poor agricultural production capacity and lack of knowledge of improved agricultural practices. Climate change related unpredictable start of rainy season and unusual dry periods]:
[Activity 1]: Surveys and interviews to collect existing data on local weather conditions, traditional knowledge on agriculture, changes in agricultural cycles, vulnerabilities and coping strategies, and current agricultural activities at household level.
[Activity 2]: Identify expert specialist/extension agent in soil, water and agriculture to design and facilitate participatory workshops
[Activity 3]. Community workshop on participatory mapping of water and land resources and uses, agricultural challenges and vulnerabilities—and degraded hotspots
[Activity 4] Conduct Farmer workshops on soil restoration and conservation techniques
[Activity 5]: Conduct farmer workshops (and follow-up) on water harvesting, conservation and management techniques.

[Problem 2]. A high mortality rate among the children in the community.
Health and Hygiene Program
[Solution to underlying cause: Lack of knowledge of health and hygiene]:
[Activity 1]. Consciousness raising health and hygiene workshop and follow-up
[Activity 2]. Hand washing workshop and follow-up
[Activity 3]. Point of use water purification system workshop and follow-up

Advocacy program for Government or NGO Health Centre [Solution to underlying cause: Lack of health post and health facilities within or near the community]:
[Activity 1]. Facilitate the organization of a community Advocacy program
[Activity 2]. Consultation with advocacy expert to develop a participatory process and committee training program
[Activity 3]. Facilitate the Advocacy program committee develops an advocacy plan in order to work together with the authorities on the provision of a health post
[Activity 4]. Advocacy program makes an official claim to the government or to NGO authorities asking for support in the provision of a health post

Project Goals: 
Their project goals are to let the community members of Mezimbite be able to enjoy improved nutrition and year-round food security food security through a climate smart agricultural practices program, and improved child survival and the community through a health and hygiene program and advocacy program for a government/NGO health center.
You can download the participatory needs assessment here:
OL 341 Assignment One.

You can download their full project outline here:
OL 341 Assignment Two.

You can download their scientific research on activity effectiveness here:
OL 341 Assignment Three.

Background research:
The team is a strong believer in advocacy campaigns in they team discovered the following paper in support of their advocacy campaign and provided the summary below.

Community-directed interventions for integrated delivery of a health package against major health problems in rural Uganda: perceptions on the strategy and its effectiveness.(Ndyomugyenyi & Kabali, 2010)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ndyomugyenyi%20%26%20Kabali

In a study conducted in Uganda aimed to examine community perceptions on Community Directed Interventions (CDI) strategy and its effectiveness for integrated delivery of health interventions with different degrees of complexity (insecticide treated nets, vitamin A supplements to children, home management of malaria and direct observation treatment of tuberculosis), using community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) as an entry point, compared to conventional delivery channels. The interventions were implemented in an incremental manner and both qualitative and quantitative methods were used at evaluation, three years after implementation. Coverage was significantly higher in CDI arm, compared to conventional delivery channels for all interventions (P < 0.05), except for direct observation treatment of tuberculosis (P > 0.05). Community members expressed interest in CDI because it responds to their perceived health problems, actively engages them and improves access to health care services. Community led advocacy groups are better placed to advocate for the community’s needs and therefore influence the development, reach, implementation and oversight of public systems and policies. It also ensures full community participation increasing the likelihood of intervention uptake by the community.

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