Today the Regional Commissioner for Tabora, the Head of Development Cooperation of the European Union Tanzania together with Project implementer, Heifer Netherlands, have officially handed over the Igunga eco-village project, one of five projects in Tanzania which falls under the European Union (EU) funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative (GCCA+).
The event was attended by the Igunga District Commissioner John Mwaipopo, regional, district and village authorities, hundreds of village community members, along with staff from the lead implementing partners, Heifer Nederland and Heifer International Tanzania
The project named 'Integrated Approaches for Climate Change Adaptation' was implemented for four years with an EU contribution of EUR 1.6 million (Approx. TZS 4.068billion). The project has encompassed the eco-village approach, an integrated approach to address the impact of climate change, and has made strides to increase and diversify incomes, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerabilities.
During his speech, the Guest of Honour, Tabora Regional Commissioner Hon. Aggrey Mwanri, stated that, "The government is highly impressed with the work done with Igunga Ecovillage project. Some of the technologies have already been adopted by other districts, such as tree planting, fuel efficient stoves and rainwater harvesting tanks. We as the government will make sure the interventions done by the project are taken over and scaled up to other areas so that our farmers enjoy this opportunity just like the two project wards in Igunga and Mbutu. I personally visited the work done by the project in the villages and observed the good work done on the ground, I thank EU for funding this project and all the project partners."
The project sought to increase capacities of vulnerable rural communities to adapt to climate change through an interdisciplinary approach combining interventions in the field of agriculture, aquaculture, water management, forestry and energy. It directly targeted 6000 families consisting of 36,000 individuals in 9 villages of the Igunga district, including female headed households, people with disabilities and people living with HIV/Aids.
Speaking at the closing ceremony Mr Jose Correia Nunes, EU Head of Development Cooperation said, "It is my hope that the project we are handing-over here today together with the other four climate change adaptation projects we are supporting in Tanzania under the EU GCCA programme, will serve as good examples of how we can adapt to the negative impact of climate change. It is also our hope that this project here will inspire other villages."
"Heifer Netherlands like to thank everyone who joined this journey on the road to make Igunga more climate resilient. European Union thank you for believing in this project. Consortium partners thank you for the fruitful cooperation. But above all, farmers thank you for adopting the climate resilient interventions. Keep on continuing in the future with the support of the Igunga District", said Mrs. Sara Peeters, Programs, Heifer Netherlands.
The project has also helped to enhance the capacity of the Igunga District Council (IDC) to access, plan and implement climate change adaptation strategies.
The GCCA Tanzania programme is part of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+), a flagship initiative of the European Union helping the world's most vulnerable countries, mainly Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) to increase their resilience to climate change.
The overall objective of the GCCA Tanzania programme is to support five projects in Tanzania to increase the capacity of vulnerable communities to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and contribute to poverty reduction in rural areas. The programme consists of five eco-village projects implemented in different agro-ecological zones in the country. These include Eco ACT in Dodoma Region, ECOBOMA in Arusha Region, Community Forests Pemba in Zanzibar, Igunga Eco-Village in Tabora Region and the Integrated Approaches to Climate Change Adaptation in East Usambara in Tanga Region.
The first GCCA programme was initiated in Tanzania in 2010-2013 to support the Government in strengthening the capacity of some of the most affected communities against the adverse impacts of climate change. The Second GCCA national initiative started in 2015 and has built on the results of the first phase to enhance environmental sustainability and food security by strengthening the management of natural resources at the local level (eco-villages). Essential to all projects have been to support new technologies and low cost culturally acceptable and gender-oriented solutions, and increasing the potential for scaling-up and replication.