On the 7th and 8th of March 2018, the Office of the Governor in the Omusati Regional Council in collaboration with the Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions (ASSAR) project hosted this year’s conference under the theme Water, Food security and Adaptation to Climate Change.
The prediction that weather conditions will become more severe during the next decades places the responsibility for adaptation on the shoulders of all Namibians, especially high-level managers, policy and decision makers across all sectors. It is therefore important for people in north-central Namibia to understand how and why their climate is changing, so that they know how they can prepare for this change and make sure that there is enough food and water for the future.
This event spearheaded by the Governor of Omusati Hon. Endjala brought together a diverse group of stakeholders ranging from political office bearers, local and regional authorities, public administrators, academia, media practitioners, religious leaders, farmers, policy makers, donor agencies, representatives of civil society institutions, the private sector as well as community members to discuss the challenges faced by the region as a result of climate change and seek dialogue on solutions that can address these challenges and move beyond this to a sustainable solution.
Following intense discussions and deliberations the stakeholders identified and prioritized the following as priority interventions when it comes to funding needs for climate change adaptation in Omusati:
- Water proposals to include water harvesting, water channeling and portable water distribution
- Animal fodder production
- Commercialization of local produce using advanced technologies
The development and submission of these proposals will be spearheaded by the Omusati Regional Councils directorate of Development Planning with support from UNAM, MET, MAWF, Horticultural Producers Association and the DRFN.
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What is the ASSAR project?
Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions or ASSAR is a five-year research project (2014- 2018), funded by the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It aims to deepen understanding of climate vulnerability and adaptation in semi-arid regions and to inform and influence climate change adaptation practice and policy. It aims to embed proactive, widespread adaptation in development activities and to advance adaptive livelihoods for vulnerable groups in drylands by building capacity and closing knowledge gaps. The project is being implemented in four regions (Eastern, Southern and Western Africa and South Asia). In Southern Africa, the research is focused in Onesi constituency in Omusati region in Namibia and Botswana with a focus on the Bobirwa sub-district in the Limpopo Basin.
More information about the project is available on the website ( http://www.assar.uct.ac.za/) and a short video showing ASSAR's Theory of Change: Adapting to climate change in semi-arid Africa and Asia can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/0sEqm7tq6D8