Enhancing capacity building and raising awareness of a sensitive community in rwanda on climate change adaptation
Over the past 14 years, Rwanda has made significant progress in rebuilding economic, administrative and judicial infrastructures devastated by the 1994 genocide. Rwanda has also made advances in environmental protection and measures have been taken to tackle problems related to environmental degradation.
Despite recent advances in environmental protection, Rwanda still faces many challenges in implementing a comprehensive and sustainable environmental policy. While political will is strong, traditional, cultural, poverty and lack of adequate behavior change strategy exert a strong influence, and existing government and civil society institutions at every level lack the knowledge, skills and capacities to fully act on changing local population mindset and practices. Rwanda has been prompt on climate changes by trying to help its population in various ways through propositions on adaptation and mitigation. According to its analysis of vulnerability in National Adaptation Program Action (NAPA) Rwanda, a strategy for adequate response to this situation was reached and public awareness and sensitization is cross-cutting in all the articulated to six national priorities of the NAPA.
In July 2009, the CC DARE Programme engaged Rwanda in a collaborative efforts to address the adaptation concerns of the country. A Rwanda CC DARE Consultation Workshop was held on 9 July 2009 at which many stakeholders participated and were briefed on the objectives of the CC DARE Programme potential activities to be supported; procedures of application, eligibility, review, approval and disbursement of funds to Proponents of selected projects; implementation strategy and evaluation and monitoring of project activities.
The Nile Basin Discourse Forum in Rwanda was one of two Proponents whose project was approved and funds totaling to US $90,000 were disbursed to NBDF for the implementation of capacity building and public awareness raising at the level of the five districts of Rwanda using Rwandan journalists and civil society organizations trained for the purpose by the Project.
The Rwanda/NBDF/CC DARE project conducted training workshops for Trainers on climate change that saw at least 45 trainees receive certificates that empowered them to disseminate the knowledge to others in various areas of interventions as well as 36 journalists received certificates that were to improve their communication skills while reporting on climate change. These trainees were used to conduct further training and public awareness campaigns in all the five Provinces of Rwanda. About 200 citizens in the five provinces of Rwanda participated in the sensitization workshops through cost sharing partnerships between NBDF Rwanda and five of its member NGOs that were among the CSOs trained under the Training of Trainers initiative of CC DARE. These workshops were information gathering and sharing strategies to enrich the scope of knowledge on climate change concepts in the country. In participation were Mayors of districts, field officers in environment and agriculture, local NGOs in various provinces, private firm owners, religious leaders, teachers, opinion leaders, and media enterprises.
With the capacity acquired by the trained journalists and CSOs more articles on climate change were published in various newspapers, broadcasting on National Television (TVR), Radio Station talk-shows on climate change in various languages (English, Kinyarwanda and French). Several articles’ contributed to the NBDF Rwanda newsletter on climate change issues have been published and shared with various stakeholders.