With UNDP Support… Kambia & Kono Benefit from AID/Sierra Leone Awareness Raising on Adaptive Capacities of Climate Change on Water Services

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One of the drama groups in action
Participants listen with rapt attention

By Sumner Kangbap – 13th August 2019

With funds from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Advocacy Initiative for Development-Sierra Leone (AID-SL) has intensified its awareness raising engagements with district stakeholders on ‘Adaptive Capacities of Climate Change on Water Services’ in both Kono and Kambia Districts.

Local Council staff, Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and CSOs are taking the lead with active participation to ensure that their communities are aware of the adverse effects and adoptable measures to mitigate climate change on their water services. In the bid to increase awareness on climate change, key and interesting activities were organized in strategic project and highly affected communities in the two districts.

Two theatre drama performances were organized in highly-populated communities. In Kono District, it was held in two chiefdoms-Yardu village, Gbense Chiefdom and Bumpeh Town in Nimikoro chiefdom while in Kambia it was organized at the Main Lorry Park along the Guinea-Sierra Leone Highway and at the popular Bamoi Lumo Market respectively.

The two highly-acclaimed drama groups are the Kono Entertainers and the Kambia Home Boys-both known as local comedy groups always performing unique skits with conscious messages to sensitize their respective communities. The accomplished drama skits in the two districts had interesting characters showcasing the causes, effects and adoptive measures of climate change. Members of the two communities benefited from local and simple messages which they can easily and quickly disseminate to their colleagues, age and peer groups. Each drama performance lasted an hour with many questions, concerns and recommendation from the communities.

Furthermore, 1000 information packages with key environmental and water-related messages were developed with fantastic diagrams depicting the causes, hazards and stop-gap measures of climate change on the water services in the communities. The designed messages were distributed among the people and displayed at the entrances of public offices and places like the Lorry Parks, Ataya Bases, Ghettos, Cinemas and Night Clubs for people to see the diagrams and read the messages for action to mitigate climate change.

Forty (40) radio discussion programs were broadcast during which listeners sent in text messages, twenty (20 per district-Kambia and Kono) were received.

The most popular community radio station with wide coverage was identified and contracted for the discussion programs.

Timely and relevant information was disseminated on climate change on the country’s water services during the discussions. The discussion programs titled, Climate Change Hour for Kambia was aired from 8–9 pm every Wednesday while that for Kono was broadcast from 9–10 pm daily on Thursdays.

During the regular weekly talk shows, most of the callers commended AID/SL and UNDP for the educative program and appealed for sustainability of the program as they are firmly convinced that it would help mitigate the behavior, attitude and practices of the people to change the prevailing situation of climate change in their communities.

The implemented project activities were climaxed by a group evaluation exercise. Two project evaluation meetings were organized in Kambia and Kono. The district stakeholders, the project target and some beneficiaries from the communities had a day’s meeting to evaluate the activities as against the outcomes and results. An evaluation tool in the form of questions were developed and used during the meeting to measure the impact of the project activities on the people and their communities.

Also, frank discussions were held, lessons learnt, challenges and recommendations were suggested for the attention of AID/SL and UNDP for future support.

The Advocacy Initiative for Development-Sierra Leone (AID-SL) is a human-rights national Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) founded in 2000 and officially registered with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2002 and in 2009 with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED).

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