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South Sudan launches climate change adaptation project

By Oketayot Santo   

South Sudan and the United Nations on Wednesday launched a five years climate change adaptation project aimed at strengthening capacity of the communities and government to adapt to climate change.

Joseph Africano Bartel, the Undersecretary in Ministry of Environment and Forestry said the 10 million US dollar project will focus on achieving three key outcomes to address current and future impacts of climate change through a multi-hazard early warning system, practical ecosystem-based adaptation process for people in flood and drought affected areas, and enhance local knowledge production on climate change.

“It is going to make sure that the resilience of the communities to the impacts of climate change is built and that is why we are going to have the project. The project will be implemented in Kapoeta and Terekeka Counties which has both droughts and flood so all those issues of droughts and floods will be addressed” Africano said during the launch of the project. 

Africano said there are a number of projects that the environment ministry has developed to adapt to climate change among other are the smart agriculture project in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State that will cost around 10 million dollars, and another in Jonglei state aimed at preserving the Sudd wetland among others. 

Samuel Doe, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative in South Sudan said South Sudan is extremely vulnerable to climate change impact, rising temperature and the increasing severity of drought and flood events are having major negative impact with the lives and livelihood of the people and communities.

He stressed that the impact of climate change has been compounded by widespread food insecurity, conflicts, inter communal violence and the macroeconomic crisis the country faces.

“Capacity constrains within national institutions and inadequate ability to predict and downscale clime information make it difficult for communities to adapt to climate change” Doe said.

Doe stressed that the project will build the capacity of local communities to adapt to the impact of flood and drought through a practical ecosystem-based adaptation that will ensure the restoration of 16,000 hectares of degraded land, 75,000 people will benefit from Watersheds development initiatives, 30,000 pastoralists will have access to water for their livestock, and 13,000 women will benefit from Climate Smart Agriculture.

The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and will be implemented by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 

About 2.6 million people were been affected by heavy floods in the last four years, that caused destruction of livelihood, shelters and caused displacement. 

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