East Africa: two new Climate Justice projects

PHOTO: ADS/ACT. Adaptation funding in Kenya will help communities tackle drought.

Two recent projects launched under the Climate Justice programme will make a big difference to climate justice advocacy on adaptation in Africa.  While mitigation is critical in addressing the impacts of climate change, adaptation is urgent and the main climate priority for the continent.  

The Locally Led Climate Fund (LLCF) grew from seed funding provided by the ACT Canada Forum. The pilot project, which runs from April 2023 to April 2024, is the result of a 2022 consultation between the Canada Forum and ACT members in the East of Africa. Discussions with the Canada Forum are now underway for the next phase of the project. The LLCF accepts contributions from all ACT members and Forums who wish to support locally led climate action.  

The second project supported by a philanthropic organisation, BMGF, supports needs-based adaptation advocacy. ACT is part of a consortium led by the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA). Other consortium organisations include the Organization of Instituted African Churches and the East African Farmers Federation. “Each organisation in the consortium brings something unique,” says Vincent Ondieki, ACT’s new Kenya-based staff supporting the projects. “ACT’s focus is our faith-based approach to advancing advocacy.”  

Locally Led Climate Fund (LLCF) pilot project  

The LLCF pilot project focuses on practical grassroots projects and enhancing communities’ advocacy skills. Working with a range of African ACT Forums, it involves local communities in creating local solutions such as the following:  

  • Members of the Kenya Forum, including Lutheran World Federation, World Renew and Anglican Development Services, train climate ambassadors as agents of change who in turn inform others in their communities. Participants are drawn from rural areas and represent diverse abilities, genders and ages.  
  • The Uganda Forum advocates for increased financing from their national government to support adaptation needs at the local level  
  • The Zimbabwe Forum addresses local water shortages by drilling deep boreholes to access potable water, an idea proposed by local communities. It also documents Indigenous knowledge on how best to respond to climate change at the community level. 
  • The Ethiopia Forum delivers adaptation alternatives through activities such as poultry raising, beekeeping and vegetable production.

Needs-based adaptation advocacy   

As a member of the adaptation advocacy consortium led by PACJA, ACT focuses on advocacy for agricultural adaptation at the national and regional levels. Through an application process, the following ACT Forums were selected to participate in the project: Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Ethiopia Forums.  

The project’s goals are centred around support to agricultural adaptation and increasing the flow of climate finance to local communities. The means to achieve those goals include:   

  • Enhancing faith actors’ and leaders’ understanding of their country’s National Adaptation Plans so that they can hold duty-bearers accountable.   
  • Enhancing faith actors and leaders’ ability to influence their national governments.  
  • Building cooperation with governments and multifaith actors on adaptation goals. 

This article is based on an interview with Vincent Ondieki, ACT Alliance Senior Programs Officer for Climate Justice. For more information, please contact him at vincent.ondieki@actalliance.org