The effects of climate change have been increasing in different regions around the world. It is suggested by different researches, including the latest IPCC report, that rural communities in Africa are amongst the most vulnerable and threatened ones. For instance, the change in the weather patterns is leading to extreme droughts and floods, compromising crops and consequently food security, shelter conditions and livelihoods as a whole. The majority of farmers do not have access to the proper information, delivered in a comprehensive way, about what’s happening to the climate and most importantly, if there are adaptive actions that could lessen the effects in their day to days.
Adaptation to Climate Change by Mphunga Villagers
The Malawian Red Cross Society along with the local Meteorological Service have been working with Mphunga, a community 120km east of Lilongwe in Malawi, delivering information about climate change and the need for adaptation.
As a result the program has pushed villagers to take real action. They began adapting their rural activities in simple ways such as substituting maize crops with rice, taking advantage of the increasing floods and replacing chicken with duck stock as ducks float and chicken drown.
With our help, the Mphunga villagers produced a participatory video so the community- based adaptation practices could be shared with neighbor communities that face similar problems through video screenings workshops.
As this project is part of a Masters thesis, the process was methodologically evaluated with quantitative pre and post questionnaires and qualitative pre and post video interviews. The thesis with the research results are available upon request. There is also this published article: Baumhardt et al. 2009, Farmers become Filmmakers: A villager’s experience on climate change adaptation in Malawi, Participatory Learning and Action Journal n. 60 IIED, UK. In the meantime you can view the three documentaries part of the project.
See also Hope on a Red Bucket