Sunday, July 15, 2012

Community Based Climate Change Training

1. Background
Khulna is one of the most vulnerable coastal cities of Bangladesh. The peri-urban communities of Khulna are often overlooked from development agendas of urban and rural government. As a part of our peri-urban water security project, we conducted a detail need assessment of the peri-urban communities and we found out that most of the community groups have no knowledge of climate change impacts. When the matter was discussed with the community level stakeholders it is understood that climate change training will be very effective for capacity building of the local communities and helps them in adaptation to climate change impacts in Khulna. Thus, we provided four community based climate change trainings in Khulna.

2. Methodology
A community based need assessment program was conducted by the ILS at different peri-urban locations of Khulna. Participatory methods (FGD, stakeholder consultation, interviews) were taken up for need assessment, training design and final training dissemination.

3. Major expectations of the communities
Before the training, we learnt the participant’s expectations from the training program. Only few participants (10 out of 80) had a little experience in topics related to climate change. However, most of participants had no training on climate change issues. The following expectations were found from the attendant trainees in the training programs:

·      What are the causes of sudden change in the nature?
·      To acquire knowledge on water and climate change issues
·      What are the responsible causes of climate change?
·      What are the causes of water pollution?
·      To know the causes of water scarcity?
·      Causes of sudden rainfall and excess temperature
·      To know the solutions for climate change impacts
·      What would be the future of water security
·      Causes of water problems in Khulna
·      What are governmental steps regarding climate change
·      What are the causes of lowering of water table?
·      To know about arsenic pollution in water
·      To know about salinity intrusion 
·      What are the impacts of climate change on human health
·      Want to know about climate change impacts and adaptation
·      Why and how climate is changing
·      How could we mitigate the impact of climate change and what major steps should be taken to mitigate climate change impacts?
·      To know about the plan and program for climate refugee/displaced people  
·      How Bangladesh can mitigate climate change impacts?  

4. Major discussion held
Around 80 participants attended the day long training program conducted in Khulna. Male and female participants were 50 and 30, respectively. Training session started at 10:00 AM and finished at 5:00 PM. Mrs. Umme Kulsum, a local climate change expert conducted the training sessions. She asked three common questions; which at later stage were used to evaluate the training program. The questions were:

Q1. What is your favorite season?
Q2. What is the difference between weather and climate?
Q3. What is the responsible cause of climate change?

All participants conveyed that they have no clear idea about climate change, so that they wanted to know about climate change. They wanted to know how CC is occurring and what could be done to solve the problem of climate change impacts? Mrs Kulsum gave a simple lecture on impacts of climate change that are being faced by the coastal communities of Bangladesh. Then, she related these impacts with their responsible causes (science of climate change). She also discussed the sectoral impact and adaptation strategies of Bangladesh, and how local people could adapt this situation with the available resources. In the end, Mrs. Kulsum also discussed the Governmental policies and activities related to climate and development in Bangladesh. 

 Finally, an evaluation test was conducted by asking questions based on the training topic.  Participants conveyed that this training will be helpful for household’s awareness and community level awareness.

5. Major Impact of climate change in Peri-Urban Khulna
After a schedule discussion on climate change impacts, participants were divided into groups to document their local experiences of climate change. Documented impacts significantly varied between male and female stakeholders. Male members focused on agricultural impacts including heat stress, water logging, and environment pollution, whereas, female participants  focused on water related stress such scarcity of drinking water and outbreak of water borne diseases. Female participants also documented the difficulty in collecting drinking water from long distance. They said that household’s income generating activities, such as homestead vegetable production, poultry, goat and cow rearing have been reduced significantly in their areas. The community stakeholders documented the climate change impacts in the peri-urban areas of Khulna as following:   
  •          Scarcity of drinking water
  •          Agriculture land becoming fallow
  •          Lowering of groundwater table
  •          Environmental pollution due to absent in drainage system
  •          Groundwater pollution due to flood
  •          Human stress due to excess temperature
  •          Households and trees damage due to cyclone which hamper communication and economic loss
  •          Increased water logging condition
  •          Reduction of working efficiency
  •          Skin disease, diarrhea, and cholera outbreak
  •          Drainage congestion due to waste
  •          Life standard is hampered
  •          Due to excess and less rainfall' agricultural production is reduced
  •          Increased household’s poverty and loans
  •          Loss in shrimp and fisheries firms
  •          Impact on livestock and homestead gardens
6. Recommendation by the Trainee participants
Participant requested that ‘Community Based Training on Climate Change’ should be arranged at the local venue, so that more people could participate in these training programs for better capacity building of the peri-urban communities of Khulna.  

Photo Album of the Training Programme


Photo 1: Alutala & Putimary Peri-Urban Community.

Photo 2:  Alutala & Putimary Peri-Urban Community.


Photo 3:  Dr. Hamidul Huq and Mrs. Umme Kulsum  giving training on climate change to the South-Labonchora Peri-urban Community.

Photo 4:  South-Labonchora Peri-urban Community with the Trainer.


 Photo 5: North-Labonchora Peri-urban Community watching a video showing the vulnerability of women in water collection during floods.

Photo: 6: Women participants writing the impacts of climate change. 


Photo 7: Women group at Chhoto Boira presenting the most visible impacts of climate change in Peri-Urban Community in Khulna.

Photo 8: Chhoto Boira Peri-Urban Community.

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