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Water-logged western Zambia digs in to battle climate pressures

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 4 Jun 2014 16:15 PM
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The Barotse floodplain in western Zambia is becoming a more difficult place to live and farm as climate change impacts worsen and an old canal system no longer functions. New funding aims to make exposed communities like the ones on the Barotse floodplain more resilient to the effects of climate change - in large part by allowing local people to figure out what changes they think would be most effective and giving them money to carry them out. Zambians say the approach should be more effective and more resistant to corruption. THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION/Jeffrey Barbee

To find out more about western Zambia's effort to build climate resilience, read our full story here.

  •  A canoe travels near landlocked Zambia's port town, Mongu, on the edge of the Barotse plain. The plain floods for most of the year, and all movement of goods is by boat.

    A canoe travels near landlocked Zambia's port town, Mongu, on the edge of the Barotse plain. The plain floods for most of the year, and all movement of goods is by boat.

  •  Natonga village, on the Barotse plain of western Zambia, is 80 kilometres off the main road along a dirt track. It is here that the community hopes to adapt to climate change using ideas they come up with themselves.

    Natonga village, on the Barotse plain of western Zambia, is 80 kilometres off the main road along a dirt track. It is here that the community hopes to adapt to climate change using ideas they come up with themselves.

  •  District planning officer Gift Chibamba, 32, joins a team from the Climate Investment Funds on their way to Natonga village in western Zambia. Water crossings are an infrastructure challenge in the region as it tries to adapt to climate change impacts.<br /> half.

    District planning officer Gift Chibamba, 32, joins a team from the Climate Investment Funds on their way to Natonga village in western Zambia. Water crossings are an infrastructure challenge in the region as it tries to adapt to climate change impacts.
    half.

  •  Wading through what used to be fields of maize before the land became permanently flooded, 68-year-old Elphias Bantodo gathers swamp grass to use at thatch on his house. The area has become much wetter over the last 15 years as the climate has changed.

    Wading through what used to be fields of maize before the land became permanently flooded, 68-year-old Elphias Bantodo gathers swamp grass to use at thatch on his house. The area has become much wetter over the last 15 years as the climate has changed.

  •   Loza Ndondi, 53, remembers the 1970s, when her father used to farm the fertile floodplain behind her, at Natonga village in far western Zambia. Now climate change is bringing more flooding and the fields often lay fallow, too wet to till.

    Loza Ndondi, 53, remembers the 1970s, when her father used to farm the fertile floodplain behind her, at Natonga village in far western Zambia. Now climate change is bringing more flooding and the fields often lay fallow, too wet to till.

  •  At Natonga village in far western Zambia, water now sits where a fertile plain once brought prosperity to the region. Climate change has brought more rain and the old drainage canals need to be renovated, according the community.

    At Natonga village in far western Zambia, water now sits where a fertile plain once brought prosperity to the region. Climate change has brought more rain and the old drainage canals need to be renovated, according the community.

  •  Women of Natonga village in far western Zambia gather to elect community members who will oversee development projects at the ward level using grant money from the Climate Investment Fun. More than half of the committee members are women.

    Women of Natonga village in far western Zambia gather to elect community members who will oversee development projects at the ward level using grant money from the Climate Investment Fun. More than half of the committee members are women.

  •  Namala Simanya, 43, cleans cassava root at her house near Natonga village in western Zambia.

    Namala Simanya, 43, cleans cassava root at her house near Natonga village in western Zambia.

  •  Gift Chibamba, 32, wearing a suit, talks with Cheif Nduna Simunye, 52, while the chief's wife Namala Simanya cleans cassava root.

    Gift Chibamba, 32, wearing a suit, talks with Cheif Nduna Simunye, 52, while the chief's wife Namala Simanya cleans cassava root.

  •  Akabondo Mainais, the monitoring and evaluation officer for projects supported by the Climate Investment Funds in western Zambia, talks to the Nalunau family, who have been farming in the area for three generations. They explain that they are struggling because the flood waters on the Barotse plain are not receding like they used to.

    Akabondo Mainais, the monitoring and evaluation officer for projects supported by the Climate Investment Funds in western Zambia, talks to the Nalunau family, who have been farming in the area for three generations. They explain that they are struggling because the flood waters on the Barotse plain are not receding like they used to.

  •  Akabondo Mainais, the monitoring and evaluation officer for projects supported by the Climate Investment Funds in western Zambia, talks with the Nalunau family, who have been farming in the region for three generations.

    Akabondo Mainais, the monitoring and evaluation officer for projects supported by the Climate Investment Funds in western Zambia, talks with the Nalunau family, who have been farming in the region for three generations.

  •  Masheku Nalunau, 10, stands outside the corral of his family's 23 cattle on western Zambia's Barotse plain.

    Masheku Nalunau, 10, stands outside the corral of his family's 23 cattle on western Zambia's Barotse plain.

  •  Masheku Nalunau, 10, walks past newly cut thatch for his family's homestead on the Barotse plain in far western Zambia.

    Masheku Nalunau, 10, walks past newly cut thatch for his family's homestead on the Barotse plain in far western Zambia.

  •  Fine Nasilele is the non-governmental organisation coordinator for the People's Partnership Program. He and his organisation facilitate the development process in the communities where the Climate Investment Funds are rolling out resilience projects. Here he talks to the members of the Natonga village community before they vote for ward development committee members.

    Fine Nasilele is the non-governmental organisation coordinator for the People's Partnership Program. He and his organisation facilitate the development process in the communities where the Climate Investment Funds are rolling out resilience projects. Here he talks to the members of the Natonga village community before they vote for ward development committee members.

  •  Fine Nasilele, the non-governmental coordinator for the People's Partnership Program, stands near canals that local communities want to rehabilitate as part of a climate resilience project.

    Fine Nasilele, the non-governmental coordinator for the People's Partnership Program, stands near canals that local communities want to rehabilitate as part of a climate resilience project.

  •  Landlocked Zambia's port town, Mongu, sits on the edge of the Barotse plain.

    Landlocked Zambia's port town, Mongu, sits on the edge of the Barotse plain.

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