During May-September 2019, EFA implemented a sub-project funded by UNDP, titled:
Increased Awareness and Stakeholder Mobilisation to Address Climate Change Impacts on Water Supply in Sierra Leone
The sub-project was intended to enable effective communication and awareness raising, in support of the main project funded jointly by Government of Sierra Leone, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and titled:
“Adaptive Capacities of Water Services to Climate Change Project”, which seeks to enhance the adaptive capacities of decision-makers in the public and private sectors, involved in water provision, to plan for and respond to climate change risks on water resources.
A key objective of the project, was to increase awareness about climate change and mobilize public attention to address the impacts and threats of climate change to the country’s water resources. Given the diversity of the various stakeholders, within a context where there are many and growing social, political, economic and ecological problems, facing Sierra Leone, communicating important messages in an impactful way, required an innovative and participatory approach. Therefore, EFA held bilateral consultative meetings with the various beneficiary communities and institutions to discuss in more depth, the issues around Climate Change. The information generated during engagements with the various stakeholder and beneficiary groups inspired EFA to create the following educational materials:
1. A 12-minute video documentary (Water is Life) that explains climate change in a simplified local language, citing examples of how climate change is manifesting in the local context and how aware the general population is of this trend. Representative of various stakeholder groups interviewed to express their perceptions of the local factors underlying forest destruction and land degradation. What steps can be taken at the local level to adapt as well as minimize, where possible the underlying problems. The video has be circulated widely – on YouTube; Whatsapp groups, TV channels.
2. A jingle composed for the radio in the 3 main dialects of Sierra Leone – Krio, Mende and Temne. The theme is: The climate is changing and we must change too. The message explains how our interactions with nature, especially forests is contributing to climate change and why we must change our behavior to help reverse destruction of forests – the main catchments for water in the Western Area. 3. Engage a design artist to transform the key messages conveyed by the various stakeholders into art thus:
– the 1st drawing depicts the growing population while water source and availability decreases.
– the 2nd drawing shows the DOs and DONTs of managing forests with water flowing through.
– the 3rd drawing shows the DOs and DONTs of caring for the local environment and maintaining tree cover.
– the 4th drawing emphasizes harvesting of rain water and maintaining grass cover to prevent soil erosion.
– the 5th drawing shows the appropriate public water supply using stand pumps rather than wasteful PVC pipes.
– the 6th drawing demonstrates the significant of school children planting trees in the compounds.