Winners of The Climate Initiative Award 2017 for the category, Local Authorities, were the municipalities of Copargo (Benin) and Tondikiwindi (Niger); both receiving awards for the development of innovative projects in their region.
The Climate Initiative Award for French-speaking African countries rewards initiatives that have the most significant impact on adapting to climate change and mitigating their effects, with three categories: ‘civil society organizations,’ ‘Green Entrepreneurs- women and youth,’ and ‘local authorities.’ Eighteen initiatives were nominated in the category for local authorities at this, the second edition of the award, with Copargo and Tondikiwindi receiving this year’s accolades.
Located in western Benin, the municipality of Capargo through its initiative, ‘Development of a water retention basin,’ responded to the challenges of climate change and created a solution to dealing with heavy rains and flooding, replicable by other municipalities. After analysis of the needs of the municipality a number of priority objectives were identified, at the forefront of which was the construction of a water retention basin reservoir located on the market garden and forestry site of Tchandoga.
The project conducted from 2014 to 2016 recorded the following main results:
– Improved storage capacity of the natural pond;
– An 80% Increase in the yields of vegetable growers since 2015;
– Good coverage of the water requirements on farm sites in any season;
– Permanent availability of seasonal products (maize, tomato, lettuce, and chili);
– An Increase of more than 50% in the number of growers and nurseries;
– Improved food security through the production and marketing of a larger quantity of vegetables and chili peppers.
The project has had 10 women, 12 men, 80 children and 8 nurseries as direct beneficiaries with surrounding communities benefiting from the gardening products, bringing the number to 2500 indirect beneficiaries.
The project was delivered as part of the framework of the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL), initiated by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF/UNCDF) in Benin. See the complete project here.
Focus on Women
In Niger, the municipality of Tondikiwindi has championed women with an initiative looking at the empowerment of women in the context of climate change. As in Benin, the municipality aims to create solutions that are responsive to climate change.
A series of micro projects in gardening, improved seed multiplication, sewing, processing of pastoral agro-silvo products, amongst others, were launched for the women of the municipality.
In the gardening project, the municipality has awarded land, which is a great step forward in a country where women do not have access to land, as well as a series of training sessions where women can acquire information and techniques in gardening.
The project was inspired by the impact that climate change was having on food production and the impoverishment associated with a lack of food, which often results in men leaving the village.
The main results obtained through these initiatives have been:
– Implementation of nearly 60 micro projects by the municipality between 2010 and 2015;
– 3,860 women benefiting directly from the activities, which have provided them with substantial incomes, (average annual income 125,000 FCFA instead of 40,000 FCFA), and contribution to the development of approximately ten hectares of irrigable land;
– Women better able to take care of the needs of the family in terms of health, education, nutrition, helping each other and selling produce.
The detailed data sheet of the project is available here
UCLG Africa has been a partner of the Climate Initiative Award since 2016. Projects come from 12 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Morocco, Niger, RCA, Togo and Tunisia and have been added to the online initiatives compendium which is also available here