Climate-smart practices such as fish farming in cages have been introduced
Bangladesh is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. Floods, tropical cyclones, storm surges and droughts are common threats to the life and livelihood creating food insecurity and high mal-nourishment. It is ranked 88th out of 119 countries on the 2017 Global Hunger Index, indicating ‘serious’ hunger problem.
Through an intervention called ‘promoting climate-smart villages for improved food and nutrition security’, Welthungerhilfe seeks to enable people in the two ecologically fragile regions (Char and Haor) to increase their resilience to climate change and strengthen their capacities so that they can lead a better life. The programme is being implemented with the help of local partners Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB) and Manab Mukti Sangstha (MMS).
The BMZ (Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) supported programme is working to promote climate-smart agricultural practices and empower community-based organisations such as SHGs (Self-Help Groups), Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) by encouraging them to increasingly use Climate Information Services and prepare and implement Village development and Adaptation Plans (VDAP) in joint collaboration with local authorities.
A Village Development and Adaptation Plan (VDAP) being prepared
In 50 project villages of Sirajganj and Netrokona districts, using wealth ranking tools of PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal), poorest and most vulnerable families have been identified. The vulnerable families are organized in self-help groups. These self-help structures are empowered towards developing and implementing participatory Village Development and Adaptation plans (VDAPs).
50 local resource persons are selected and trained to conduct VDAP. Further, the capacities of selected families have been developed in areas such as climate adaptive agriculture technologies, climate agro information services, financial management, leadership skills and primary health care. Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in each project village have been established and 50 Resource Farmers (RF) have been provided hands-on training on Climate-Smart Farming and Sustainable Agriculture.
Floating gardens are farms made on water bodies
Also, climate-smart farming technologies such as floating garden, early winter vegetable seedbed, home-stead vegetable gardening, field crop cultivation, mixed cropping, vermicomposting and pit compost preparation, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), rhizome basket and sack gardening have been demonstrated in project areas on pilot basis to encourage other farmers to adopt these practices.
50 Community Health Volunteers (CHV) have been recruited to conduct Participatory Learning and Action Cycles (PLA) with SHG members, particularly mothers to attain behaviour change in child care and nutrition practices. These volunteers have also been trained to identify and track Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) children.