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how rural communities are adapting to water scarcity and prevent land degradation

2017-05-01

how rural communities are adapting to water scarcity and prevent land degradation

The population of Slobozia Mare considers the following aspects to be the main threats of climate change: decrease of crop production, drought, reduction of water resources both for vital activities and irrigation, drying vegetation and human health deterioration due to summer heat waves. Water shortage during droughts is the most acute problem identified in the local plan of action for adaptation to climate change. One of the factors that contribute to water shortage is the competitive demand for water used for irrigation, thus, local NGO came up with a solution to use wastewater as an alternative source for irrigation.

The project “Intelligent Climate Solutions in the Field of Water and Sanitation in Slobozia Mare, Cahul.” enhanced the adaptation ability of the community by means of technological capacity reinforcement, improvement of technological knowledge, as well as by changing the local actors’ attitude in respect of the use of water resources by: 

  • Construction of demonstration facilities (2 storage tanks for wastewater, a sand filter for tertiary wastewater treatment, an irrigation system and a willow plantation).
  • Enhancement of local capacity for the maintenance of sanitation technologies during extreme meteorological phenomena and correct use of WW/ mud.
  • Mobilization of young people at the local level and awareness-raising among the local population with regard to climate change effects on water and sewerage systems, and intelligent solutions from the point of view of climate availability. 

The local community was provided through these activity groups with a sustainable example of using degraded soils with no agricultural value for a willow plantation, which later will be used for generating economic values. Thus, willow could generate profit (for example, pellets used as energy sources, twigs for handicraft, or seedlings for planting or making hedges). The planted willow will maintain soil moisture, avoid gully erosion, and reduce carbon emissions. Willow is also important for air conditioning and reduction of heat waves that have a bigger impact on old people and sick people with chronic diseases. At the local level, the plantation of trees is made every year, though one of the biggest issues is trees drying out.

The project was implemented with the participation of local actors, which were provided consulting from the very early stage of the project

Another initiative which was implemented to prevent land degradation, managed to develop capacity of key stakeholders on adaptation to climate change, a project conducted by NGO “Ecological Counseling Center Cahul”. It informed and raised awareness in regard with the link between climate change, land degradation and during spring 2017, the CSO held several workshop for farmers and landowners on agriculture productivity under climate change impact and how the protective forest belts as an initiative positively affects the soil quality. Afterwards, protective forest belts were planted.