MINISTER of National Development Planning Alexander Chiteme says the government will ensure that the Eighth National Development Plan focuses on developmental aspects that will prioritise building people’s resilience to climate change through adaptation and mitigation measures.
The minister was speaking in Chibombo where he was checking on the progress made under the award-winning project, the Strengthening Climate Resilience Kafue Sub-Basin (SCRiKA).
The SCRiKA project is a developmental project under the Ministry of National Development Planning.
SCRiKA’s objectives are to foster food security, sustainable growth and poverty reduction among its beneficiaries to better respond to effects of climate change.
The Project’s mandate is in line with the aspirations of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that promote human development.
In a statement issued by ministry spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba, Chiteme expressed gratitude that the project was empowering people in Central Province and enabled them to be self-sufficient and resilient to the effects of climate change.
Chiteme said as a result of the government’s interventions through projects like SCRiKA, citizens were now better positioned to participate in national development.
“Allow me to appreciate the positive impact the SCRiKA project has had in Central Province resulting from government’s initiative to embark on an ambitious agenda to deliver socio-economic development across the length and breadth of this country and to ensure that the benefits of development accrue to all, and that no province is left behind,” Chiteme said.
“We expect to witness a reduction in poverty and vulnerability as well as developmental inequalities and enhancement of human development.”
Chiteme explained that in Central Province, the government had piloted the SCRiKA Project in four districts namely Chibombo, Shibuyunji, Mumbwa and Itezhi-tezhi.
“The SCRiKA project has supported people in these four districts through community-driven participatory adaptation and climate proofing infrastructure,” he said.
“To provide access to market, the matching grant support to medium and large-scale investments adds value to primary products supplied by local producers, with the aim of increasing climate change resilience along the value chain of agri-business.”
Further, the minister directed district officers to continue working with vulnerable groups, particularly women, persons with disabilities and youths.
He noted that women, disabled persons and youths were among the most affected by the adverse impacts of climate change.
And Central Province minister Sydney Mushanga said the province had benefited about K25 million, which represents about 33.43 per cent of the overall SCRIKA Project support.
“The impact of the SCRiKA Project has been massive in Central Province and we are honoured to be part of the only three provinces in the country where this is being implemented,” Mushanga said.
According to Mushanga, the project had created various positive opportunities and transformed the quality of life for the people, thereby contributing to poverty alleviation in the areas where it is being implemented.
Meanwhile, Safira Moonga, chairperson of Sekaseka Group, a beneficiary cooperative of the support from SCRiKA, said the project had helped to improve the quantity of the yield that members of her cooperative harvest.
She said SCRiKA’s support had helped the cooperative members earn more money, hence enabling them to sponsor their children to school.
Moonga said the support had improved the wellbeing and quality of life of the members of Sekaseka Cooperative.
The SCRiKA Project in January this year won the African Water Change Makers (People’s Choice) Award at the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit.
The Government of the Netherlands and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) co-organised the climate adaptation summit, which is aimed at creating actions that will accelerate African adaptation.