Over the years, the effects of climate change which include drought and short rainfall periods have led to perennial hunger in many parts of Malawi. Consequently, community members around wildlife protected areas have resorted to poaching and encroachment in nearby national parks and game reserves as a coping mechanism.
Thus, YONECO is implementing various interventions in a bid to address the challenges which communities are facing due to climate crisis. The activities are being conducted under ‘Building Climate Resilient Communities through Conservation Effective Management of Natural Resources and Diversified Livelihoods Particularly for Women, Youth, and People with Disabilities Surrounding National Parks and Game Reserves Project’.
The project is targeting communities around Kasungu National Park as well as Mwabvi Game Reserve in Nsanje and Lengwe National Park in Chikwawa.
Among other activities, the project is aimed at promoting the adoption of various climate-smart agricultural practices to enhance resilience and help communities to prevent further environmental degradation.
As one way of motivating local farmers to venture into agro-forestry, YONECO launched two sets of competitions in 2021 to award the best performing communities and lead farmers in the project’s impact areas. Using an agreed criterion.
Through the competitions, YONECO awarded six best performing communities namely the area of Group Village Head (GVH) Nanjidu in Nsanje, GVH Njobvuyalema and GVH Lundu in Chikwawa as well as GVH Kumba, GVH Mkango and GVH Chitsime in Nsanje. The victors were awarded wheelbarrows, shovels and hoes.
In addition to this, YONECO also awarded a total of 31 lead farmers from the project’s impact areas. Among other factors, the lead farmers were recognized for their expertise in practicing water harvesting techniques in their farms.
The project is being supported with funds from the European Commission and it is being coordinated at national level by Trocaire Malawi to improve the capacity of organization in managing climate change related initiatives.
The project is also being implemented in collaboration with Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), Centre for Integrated Community Development (CICODE) and Civil Society Network on Climate Change (CISONECC).