WINDHOEK, APR. 12 – The EU Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation grant programme started providing grants in Namibia in 2014, one such grant benefiting the Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia.
The Nyae Nyae Development Foundation of Namibia received a grant of €649,390 to support Nyae Nyae and N≠a Jaqna Conservancies adapting to the impacts of Climate Change which could have devastating consequences for marginalised, rural communities.
The San communities in Nyae Nyae and Na Jaqna have limited livelihood options and rely on a mix of veld food, hunting and government drought relief as well as a few salaries and pensions that a very small number of the community receive.
The EU grant has focused on diversifying livelihoods, particularly focusing on developing agricultural activities such as gardening, introducing Conservation Agriculture techniques in fields and livestock management as well as supporting Devils Claw harvesting and fire management. This diversification of livelihoods along with increased rangeland management is intended to increase the resilience to climate change in these communities.
The project has successfully increased food security in project villages and motivated people to start becoming more self-sufficient. With this has come an increase in demand for water and additional storage tanks and solar panels which the project also provided. There are now over 16 villages with gardens or fields and 12 villages with livestock including 4 newly established herds. Also importantly in a widespread increased understanding of Climate Change as well as the need for fire and veld management to prevent over-grazing and manage fuel build up.
While the EU funding is coming to an end, Nyae Nyae Development Foundation has secured funds from other donors to continue with essential components of this successful progamme in the immediate future. To ensure that the benefits of these livelihoods continue to be repeated and built upon, a long-term approach is required. Developing new livelihoods and agricultural skills in a community that was historically nomadic takes time and consistent support to ensure permanent change. However the Community is grateful to the EU for laying the foundation that will secure their way of life and livelihoods.