Communities capacitated on climate change effects



MASERU – World Vision Lesotho has taken to the forefront in capacitating people to adapt to the effects of climate change, which has brought forth unpredictable weather patterns which affect livelihoods, resilience and food security worldwide, and leaving the already vulnerable families worse off. Speaking at the high level roundtable discussions on humanitarian advocacy and disaster risk reduction and management event, World Vision Lesotho national director, James Nkemba Chifwelu, said the disaster risk reduction project has intentionally targeted communities in hardest-to-reach areas in Lesotho in line with their strategy of leaving no one behind.

He said reducing risks and preparing for any disasters is their collective responsibility in order to protect children from the harsh realities of climate change. “With the support of our partners, we are in a better position to respond to the pressing and ever-changing needs of children in Lesotho, especially the most vulnerable in Lesotho’s hardest to reach areas,” Chifwelu said. Since the Lesotho Meteorological Services has already forecast a high probability of droughts due to the El Nino beginning October to December this year, Chifwelu said this presents an opportunity to collaborate with children and community members from hard-to-reach areas in Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka and Leribe in charting a way forward on sustainable strategies and approaches to strengthen national and community capacities for effective disaster preparedness and crisis response.

He further noted that Lesotho’s strategy seeks to enhance collaboration with the government and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the government reaches and fulfills its set targets on the Lesotho national disaster risk reduction and action plan of 2020-2030. World Vision Lesotho says it beliefs in a world where children, families and communities are safe from disaster. When disaster strikes, whether natural or manmade, they want communities to be better prepared and adequately equipped to respond to and bounce back from all kinds off shocks caused by disaster.

Considering the ongoing climate change as well as erratic and sporadic weather patterns Lesotho is experiencing, World Vision declares that it is important that Lesotho prepares and plans for any response and recovery for all. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Limpho Tau, said there are a number of national laws, policies and strategies developed to ensure domestication of the ratified treaties. Tau said Lesotho committed itself to understanding disaster risk reduction and management, investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, as well as enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response.

“These include but are not limited to Lesotho National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy and Action Plan, the Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Bill of 2020, which is yet to be enacted,” he said. He urged everyone to work together to reduce disaster risks to protect children against disasters and abuse and to ultimately prepare for any disasters to reduce their negative impacts.

“This will enable us to work together to reinforce national and community-based capacities for effective disaster preparedness and crisis response including Covid-19 and its impact on the vulnerable children, their families and communities such as child marriage and sexual exploitation and abuse that negatively affect the lives of community members,” Tau said. The discussions were intended to create a platform for all stakeholders to participate and contribute to interactive dialogues on the community representative findings on disaster risk reduction and management, emergencies and prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse.

In June 2021, towards ensuring that vulnerable communities in the hardest-to-reach places in Lesotho are prepared for and adequately equipped to respond to and bounce back from shocks when a disaster strikes, World Vision Lesotho commenced implementation through the European Union Humanitarian Aid funded project, Strengthening national and community capacities for effective disaster preparedness and crisis response in Lesotho including Covid-19 in Lesotho, in five districts, including rural councils of Mokhotlong, Thaba-Tseka and Leribe.

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