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Climate Change

Climate change is unequivocally happening globally with severe negative impacts being experienced in developing countries than developed ones due to the prevailing weak adaptive in former countries. Tanzania as throughout much of other developing countries is experiencing unbearable negative consequences of climate change where the worst experience is in rural communities of Arid and Semi-arid areas which are already vulnerable to Climate change and Variability. Throughout the districts of Dodoma region manifested negative impacts of climate change including food insecurity exacerbated by late onset and early cessation of rainfall and the deteriorating soil fertility, outbreak of pests, increased rural-urban migration, unprecedented livestock mortality, drying of water sources such as wells and rivers and increasing aridity in the districts.

The manifested climate change impacts have contributed to increasing poverty at household level in rural communities whose livelihood highly depend on climate sensitive sectors such as rain fed agriculture and forest resources. The current happening climate change situation in the semi-arid regions of central zone Tanzania particularly in rural communities, requires urgent measures to calm and halt however, little has been done by both government and individual community members to address the manifested impacts mainly because of the predominant weak adaptive capacity (Lack of Climate Change knowledge and financial constraints).

In Tanzania, majority of rural dwellers are still not aware of (4Ws) in Climate Change; What is climate change? What are the main causes? Who is responsible to Adapt and Mitigate Climate change and What are the best adaptation and mitigation strategies to Climate change? Lack of proper and rightful information on Climate change is a key driving factor to increasing susceptibility of rural communities to adverse impacts of climate change. Moreover, local community leaders and Government officials who always work with vulnerable people in rural communities are only familiar of the term Climate change without knowing in details about the 4Ws, thus leading to lack of mainstreaming of Climate Change Actions (CCA) in planning of developmental activities.

In education sector, Climate change is taught at highest institutions as sub topic in environmental courses. Currently in Tanzania, climate change is taught as a Master Degree program at University of Dar es Salaam with an average enrollment of less than 20 students each year compared to a fast growing population currently estimated to be 52 million. The prevailing situation denies the imparting of climate change knowledge to hundred-thousand teachers and students at primary and secondary schools (Primary education, Ordinary and Advanced level of education). Under no doubt, majority of students completing their studies cannot help their communities in addressing and adapting to climate change, thus increasing the exposure and vulnerability to further devastating impacts of climate change.

THE ROLE OF RUT IN ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY.

RUT intends to address Climate Change and Variability through COMMUNICATING CLIMATE CHANGE (CCC) PROGRAMME

RUT intends to bridge the existing knowledge gap between available Scientific reality on Climate change and Local experience about climate change. The integration of scientific knowledge and local experience through effective Participatory meeting and trainings between climate change expertise and local communities will help to soften the scientific knowledge on climate change, that will easily be mainstreamed into lay man language (local language) and simplify the process of climate change adaptation and mitigation.

RUT has a desire of attaining Behavioral Change in communities towards Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). Dissemination of climate information and imparting of Climate Change knowledge to Students at Primary and Secondary school will enable us to meet large number of people who are the hopes of tomorrow. Informed large group of students will be a potential target in implementing Climate Change Adaptation Action at household level and in future, they will impart the acquired knowledge to their children.  RUT believes that, behavioral change on the perception of environment by children and youth of school age will be a way forward to attain a community that has sustainable plans for managing natural resources.

RUT has a belief that, Mainstreaming Climate Change Actions into government plans will be an effective strategy towards adapting to climate change. RUT intends to impart Climate change knowledge to community leaders who closely work with vulnerable communities in their daily routine; Members of Parliament in their respective constituency, Councilors, District Commissioners, Head of Departments and Planners are highly involved in designing developmental plans of a community. RUT intends to work together with these potential leaders in designing and mainstreaming of Climate change action into government plans which will help to reduce severe impacts in local communities.

Through collaboration with the Mass Media particularly radio programmes, RUT intends to enhance the capacity of radio presenters in communicating climate change. RUT intends to be involved in Environmental programs broadcasted by radio, we believe that Climate Change knowledge will be disseminated in areas where Communicating climate change programs are implemented and areas which are not targeted. Awareness rising on Climate change spread at targeted and not targeted areas will increase the readiness of local communities in adapting to climate change.

 Email: environment@rut-tz.org