Resilience to climate change: UN Volunteers improve environment management in Niger

05 junio 2019
Niger
Communities in Niger are heavily hit by the consequences of climate change which affects the environment and, in turn, the social and economic sectors including agriculture, health and livestock. Longer periods of drought cause a severe food crisis in many localities of the country, especially in Maradi in the South. But UN Volunteers are there to help communities respond to environmental challenges. Kimba Abdou Hassane, UN Volunteer in the rural commune of Azagor (North of Maradi), serves as a water and forest engineer.  Part of his role is to provide technical support to the municipality, close supervision of communities and regular monitoring of resilient activities for the benefit of vulnerable populations, particularly women.
A UN Volunteer assessing agricultural production with the World Food Progamme (WFP) in Niger (UNV, 2018)
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Niger a Sahelian landlocked country of approximately 22 million people, of which almost 84% is reliant on natural resources for their livelihoods. The increase of climate-related natural disasters in recent years, such as floods, changes in rainfall patterns make people even more vulnerable and hinder the country's development. UNV has deployed Environment Specialists to serve in areas such as climate change, water and forest engineering, and gender equality in each of the 7 municipalities of Maradi in Niger. This is in support to the joint project "Regionalization of Community Based Adaptation in Maradi" implemented by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP. 

Kimba Abdou Hassane, UN Volunteer in the rural commune of Azagor (North of Maradi), serves as a water and forest engineer.  Part of his role is to provide technical support to the municipality, close supervision of communities and regular monitoring of resilient activities for the benefit of vulnerable populations, particularly women. For example, Kimba promotes activities related to the technique of assisted natural regeneration for the recovery of degraded lands. As a result of his work, already 4 acres of land were recovered and regenerated.

Kimba also addressed agriculture and livestock challenges through a number of activities such as the rebuilding of herds in the commune. This activity benefits 112 women; the training of 20 primary school teachers as pedagogical supervisors on the risks related to climate change; the training on the installation and  the use of rain gauges with 28 trained reading operators and more than 700 beneficiaries of seeds distribution.
 
These activities have enabled the populations to generate income, enabling them to meet the needs of their households, to ensure the fertility of the cultivated fields and to protect the environment.

I work hard to promote responsible use of the environment by educating communities, especially producers and women, about the need to protect the environment. It's the only way to strengthen our resilience to climate change -- Kimba Abdou Hassane.

Like Kimba, UN Volunteers support environment protection programmes at local, national and regional levels in Africa and the world. They work with communities to take urgent actions to improve their resilience and capacity to adapt to adverse effects of climate change, through integration of climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.