Knowledge Sharing for Climate Change Adaption

Resilience to climate change impacts in Tanzania's coastal villages

Associated Organization: Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island, USA

The Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership is carrying out vulnerability assessments in several villages on the mainland coast and Zanzibar with the support of the U.S. Agency for International Development through the Pwani (Coast) Project.

Themes: Crosscutting Issues

Regions: East Africa

Countries: Tanzania

Followers: 1 people are following this project

Overview: Climate changes are among major challenges affecting the Tanzanian coast and the impacts are anticipated to intensify in the future, resulting in significant alteration of natural habitats and coastal ecosystems, and increased coastal hazards in low-lying areas. These changes affect fishers, coastal communities and resource users, recreation and tourism, and coastal infrastructure. Experience shows that it is the poorest, who are most dependent on natural resources for livelihood, that are most exposed to climate hazards and changes affecting the environment. Yet, they are also the ones least equipped to deal with the consequences.The Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) is a joint initiative between Vice President’s Office through the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) in Tanzania, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Coastal Resources Center/University of Rhode Island (CRC/URI) in USA. TCMP is currently implementing the Pwani Project: Conservation of Coastal Eco-Systems in Tanzania which started in December 2009 and will continue through 2013.ApproachOver the life of the current project, the Pwani Project seeks to demonstrate, document and learn from the practical experience of conducting vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning in seven coastal villages. Each village is selected with district and village concurrence based on three criteria: 1) expressed interest, 2) diversity of vulnerability characteristics, and 3) opportunities for proactive adaptation actions.Current activitiesVulnerability assessments are being completed for two villages in Bagamoyo District with the assistance of the Tanzania Center for Energy and Environmental Science and Technology (CEEST).  Selected implementation activities are being carried out as well by the Traditional Energy Association (TaTEDO).  Mlingotini is located directly on the coast, within Lazy Lagoon. and Kitonga village is located in the flood plain of the Ruvu River which discharges to the Indian Ocean just north of Bagamoyo town.The vulnerability assessment utilize participatory rural appraisal techniques in combination with other aspects of a vulnerability assessment to engage villagers in order to capture and document local knowledge about the environmental changes experienced in their villages. Project activities draw upon Adapting to Coastal Climate Change: A Guidebook for Development Planners, prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development. findings and issuesSome, but not all of the observed impacts in the coastal villages are clearly linked to climate change. For example, in the Mlingotini village the residents have been using the same water sources since the 1950s and now observe that the water has become saline. The perception is that this is a result of sea water intrusion into the aquifer. Similarly, it is thought that sea-level rise has inundated some wells, which until recent years were far from the sea.  Kitonga village is affected by seasonal flooding as well as drought and fuel shortages which place stresses on the community that are expected to worsen under any climate change scenario.TCMP Pwani will complete the full process of adaptation planning and implementation of early adaptation actions in the two villages in Bagamoyo in 2011. The network of villages involved in vulnerability assessments and adaptation by working in Jambiani village within the Menai Bay Conservation Area, Zanzibar. A number of detailed studies to characterize and understand the dynamics of shoreline change in Bagamoyo District will make it easier to assess the links between village issues and climate change impacts.A learning based approachTCMP Pwani and CEEST will also conduct a workshop in 2011 to generate Prepare reflections on the assessment and strategy process contributing to a revised process and sharing of good practices in coastal adaptation with other districts, organizations and villages along Tanzania’s coast.  The documents produced through the activity will be shared widely.