ZWEDRU, Grand Gedeh – The German aid organization Welthungerhilfe has climaxed a two-days regional stakeholders conference on climate change sensitivity and human adaptation, and has called for the strengthening of collective efforts in managing climate change effects in Liberia.
The conference was held in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh, with participants coming from Sinoe, River Gee, and the host county.
The head of Welthungerhilfe’s Climate Change Project in the southeast, Ralph A. Woods, said the effects of climate change are real; therefore, the conference was organized to receive feedback and recommendations from participants and partners about how to improve the project outcomes in Liberia.
According to Woods, the Climate Change Project consists of three key components: capacity building, land-use systems, and implementation of civil structures. Woods also noted that plans were underway to assist the fisheries sector, one of the hardest-hit sectors from climate change.
Welthungerhilfe is providing storage facilities to help keep fish products and supply at adequate levels needed for public consumption, given the sector’s importance as a source of income and protein for many residents of the three counties.
Woods added that in the midst of the many challenges, his organization takes seriously the need for stakeholders to brainstorm about different ways to address the challenges they face collectively.
“We must work together as citizens in the southeast where this project has been implemented to prevent climate change; it is very important to provide or create more awareness at our various communities and counties we represent on climate change and weather forecasting interpretations,” Woods explained.
The Climate Change Project envisions a day of zero hunger in all its operational areas of Liberia. Toward this goal, Welthungerhilfe is helping to enhance and promote the fisheries sector by providing important materials to fishermen, including safety jackets and smart phones for weather reporting.
“We, in a special way, want to thank [Welthungerhilfe] and its Climate Change partners as well participants for effort male so far, looking forward to seeing successful effects on climate change management,” Woods said.
Presenting an overview of the agricultural components of the Climate Change Project, George Cooper, the project’s junior national advisor, said in a world where natural resources are in short supply, Welthungerhilfe strongly believes and is encouraging a shift to new ideas about resources and energy development, with potentials for positive growth.
Cooper named sustainable agriculture and increased productivity in food, as well as sustainable natural resource use, as the two key areas of impact in the future of the planet and human experience.
Nagbe W. Johnson, the administrative assistant to the superintendent of River Gee, was also in attendance at the conference and recommended that a fisheries storage facility should be set up to ease the burden of River Gee residents.
“The training was very educative, but we look forward to seeing our recommendations coming to reality,” he added.
One participant at the conference, Marcus Acqua from Sinoe, recommended that in order to improve the agriculture sector in Sinoe and Liberia at large, there will be a need for Welthungerhilfe and the German government to help introduce new methods of farming that will help enhance and accelerate agriculture productivity.
“Worldwide, the agriculture sector plays a major role, and as such, there should be some measure and policy put in place to make the sector more vibrant,” Acqua said.
Featured photo by T. Ezekiel Geeplay