Kalabo, October 16, 2019, ZANIS--- Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) National Coordinator Chitembo Chunga has directed that all climate resilient projects be integrated in nature.

Mrs Chunga made the directive in Kalabo when she led a World Bank implementation support Mission, Ministry of National Development Planning and the Project Implementation Unit (PIU), which paid a courtesy call on District Commissioner Fridah Luhila.

She said crop farming must be integrated with either fish or livestock projects in order to maximize benefits, ensure sustainability, enhance household food security and reduce poverty.

She also stated that there is urgent need to secure markets for those already producing or involved in value addition in order to move primary producers from subsistence to market oriented production.

And World Bank Senior Environmental Specialist Iretomiwa Olatunji observed that PPCR projects were moving at a slow pace hence the need to enhance the capacities of communities involved in implementing the climate resilient and adaptation measures.

Mr Olatunji said all the projects ought to be community driven in order to ensure both sustainability and ownership by the beneficiaries otherwise affected by climate change.

He disclosed that the World Bank would involve the Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom, Peace Corps and World Fish among others in order to speed up implementation of projects and harness the integration of crop, aquaculture and livestock production.

Meanwhile, Kalabo District Commissioner Fridah Luhila informed the delegation that a total of 107 PPCR soft and gard adapation projects have so far been funded in Libonda, Mapungu and Kuuli wards.

Mrs Luhila observed that the district has potential for viable investments because of abundant natural resources in form of four rivers, nine lakes and fertile soils which must be harnessed in order to transform the area into a food processing hub.

She stated that people across the district have bright ideas but that there is need to send consultants on the ground to help applicants on how to prepare competitive project proposals.

She lamented that there is a shortfall of expertise to assimilate and nurture all the project proposals for primary production and value addition being generated across the Barotse sub-basin.

And during a meeting with the District Planning Sub-Committee (DPSC), the World Bank implementation support Mission said there is need to speed up the implementation of PPCR projects by shortening the procurement process.

Mrs Luhila said this can be done by allowing the beneficiaries to purchase goods and services on their own, do away with desk appraisals as well as ensure that projects are implemented as designed on paper.

The Mission further expressed willingness to engage government on the need to formulate policy framework which supports regional fish hatcheries in view of the increasing demand for fish farming.

The Mission has since implored PPCR beneficiaries to practice the financial art of saving income for expansion purposes, support each other, share insights, help new applicants on how to come up with attractive project proposals and inculcate cohesion and unity of purpose among communities.

Speaking during presentation of PPCR progress report, DPSC Secretary Tozya Jengajenga said the district has so far identified 201 community soft adaptation, 37 community hard adaptation, 10 ward, four district and 11 champion projects.

Ms Jengajenga said across Libonda, Mapungu and Kuuli wards, a total of 66 and 19 community soft adaptation projects have been funded at 50 and 100 percent, respectively, while 18 and four community hard adaptation projects have been funded at 50 and 100 percent, respectively.

She added that 87 soft adaptation projects in Mapungu are currently being appraised while 12 hard and six soft adaptation projects in Kuuli await signing of financial agreements.

She further said the DPSC facilitated for the roll-out of the climate resilience project in Liumba, Buleya, Ndoka and Yuka wards and that a total number of 142 community projects were identified and have since been packaged.

She added that PPCR under Adaptation Contingency Funds has funded the reconstruction of Ndoka Bridge along Kalongola road and four other projects whose infrastructure had been damaged by adverse climatic conditions.

She has since appealed to the PIU to provide quick feedback, speed up approval of projects, speed up funding to avoid lapses in the implementation process.

The World Bank implementation support Mission and cooperating partners were in Kalabo district to backstop and check on how PPCR projects are performing on the ground and challenges being faced during implementation.

PPCR is a World Bank funded project which offers interventions aimed at strengthening climate resilience and improve the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities living in the Barotse sub-basin.

The project which commenced with an initial funding of $36.5 million since 2014 has recently been boosted with $14.6 million Additional Financing to stimulate a private sector, value addition and business minded approach amongst primary producers.

Consequently, government has scaled up the PPCR to cover the entire Barotse sub-basin by including Mulobezi, Nkeyema and Sikongo districts and extended projects to cover all wards in all implementing districts as opposed to the initial three wards per district which had been devised during inception of the programme.