The Global Framework for Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa (GFCS APA) Phase I – also known as Climate Services Action, was launched in 2013 (kick-off meetings in February 2014) and completed in 2017.
In Tanzania, the programme initially focused on improving weather and climate services for food security, health and disaster resilience in two pilot areas in the Longido and Kiteto Districts of northern Tanzania. Both districts are semi-arid and are populated by Maasai communities which depend on livestock for their livelihood and are extremely vulnerable to climate variability which affects the onset, duration and intensity of the rainy season, and climate change. The Tanzania Meteorological Agency is committed to improving the accuracy and reach of its short-term weather and longer-term seasonal forecasts and to make them available in a suitable format to users. Project partners identified exact user needs, build capacity, provided training and awareness activities to ensure the climate information is used effectively and evaluated the contribution of climate services to sustainable development.
Similar activities were implemented in Malawi, focusing on the districts of Chikwawa, Lilongwe, Nsanje and Zomba in the first year, expanding into additional districts in subsequent years. In Malawi the programme included activities aimed at strengthening the capacity of urban communities to prepare for and respond to severe weather events, building on work that had been implemented by the Malawi Red Cross with support from the Finnish Red Cross and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.
Some of the achievements:
National actors have improved capacity to design, tailor, deliver, and evaluate climate services to support adaptation:
- a functioning governance process is in place to ensure climate-smart cross-sectoral decision-making at different levels
In Malawi, ToR for climate services technical working group is reviewed by the National Steering Committee on Climate Change and National Framework.
In Tanzania, National Framework for Climate Services is endorsed by Tanzania Disaster Relief Committee (TANDREC);
- national hydromet staff regularly downscales seasonal forecasts and produces advisories for various socio-economic sectors (Malawi: 27 districts, Tanzania: 5 districts);
- several user interface platforms (UIPs) were established for health, food security and DRR: WFP Planning and Review Days, Radio Listening Hubs,the Red Cross volunteer community exchanges; and the climate and health core groups at the Ministries of Health;
- national capacity is strengthened
In Malawi: Trainings to enhance capacity of Met Services; Development of seasonal forecast 10 year climate scenarios; Agro-meteorological bulletins; Health and DRR Bulletins; Crop weather calendars; Historical climate data; Weather information for SMS service; Malaria maproom;Area specific short and medium-range weather forecasts. The ENACTS database and maproom were installed at DCCMS to facilitate use of global datasets.
In Tanzania: Seasonal forecasts; Climatological zoning; Historical climate data; Weather Information for radio; Weather information for FarmSMS; Malaria maproom; Swahili agro-meteorological bulletin.
Targeted communities are better able to manage the risks related to climate variability
- downscaled seasonal forecasts are disseminated to stakeholders via radio and SMS services and are highly appreciated by the users
In Tanzania, a total of 4,190 farmers and livestock keepers (37% women, 63% male) in Kiteto, Longido and Kondoa districts benefitted.
In Malawi working with 88 farmer groups in Balaka and Nsanje districts, reaching a total of 1,992 farmers (66% women, 34% men).
In total – this activity is benefiting over 25,000 people directly and indirectly;
- Health Vulnerability & Adaptation Assessments were conducted;
- community contingency plans and simulation of early warning early actions in response to weather hazards are developed;
- agricultural extension workers and Red Cross volunteers were trained in Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) by CCAFS & WFP, with participation from the Meteorological Services.
Improved understanding of the effectiveness of the GFCS in climate risk management and adaptation
- a number of articles and videos are produced and published at national and international level;
- TMA and DCCMS interactive sessions to disseminate and exchange weather and climate information with the communities in the project districts;
- tailored technical trainings for academics, health professionals, and analytical approaches to use climate and weather information helped dissemination and uptake of weather and climate information by the users.
Some of the lessons Learnt/Impacts:
Clear, inclusive, and participatory process at international and national levels is key for successful implementation
Overcoming silos and ensuring effective on-going interaction between and among stakeholders was key to balancing their different priorities - this is an area for further improvement.
Effective delivery of climate service interventions requires joint implementation, a common masterplan.
A properly functioning national UIP can contribute to NAPs and other national policies in countries.
Realistic and quantifiable outcomes are crucial for the success of the project. Timely baseline study to measure against in a coordinated and consistent manner is key in order to avoid missed opportunities and duplication of efforts. It is important to monitor and assess progress on a regular basis.
Crucial role of synergies with other major initiatives (with GEF, UNDP, USAID, PPCR, development banks/IFIs, RECs, etc.). This would enable strengthening the outcomes, help avoiding coordination vacuum, and ensure shared learning, greater sustainability, and more effective resource mobilization.