Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies: a case study on Leribe district, Lesotho
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Climate change and its impact have become of great concern as they threaten the production capacities of farmers throughout the world and worse in the developing world. The global warming that leads to climate change has an influence on the natural systems with changes in rainfall patterns and increasing frequencies of natural climate-induced disasters. The ever increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are the main sources of imminent global warming that put society at stake. In Africa farmers are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The adaptive capacity is the main area of focus for every country while avoidance, mitigation and protection measures need to go beyond those that already exist as essential to support farmers already faced with impacts of climate change. This study assesses the role of NGOs in support of adaptation and mitigation strategies of climate change in rural communities of Leribe district. In Leribe district a large proportion of rural households who are farmers have access to agricultural land. Climate change impact is disturbing the farmers since there is late onset of rains and farmers’ productivity has greatly diminished. It is therefore significant to assess the role of NGOs during climate change impact to assist farmers adapt to and mitigate effects of climate change. In this study data was collected using quantitative and qualitative methods through interview questionnaires, key informant interviews and focus group discussions. A descriptive nature of analysis was used. The descriptive analysis was useful in the sense that the researcher found absolute numbers to summarise individual variables and find patterns. The nature of analysis characterised farmers in relation to their demographic and socio-economic data, livelihood strategies, adaptation and mitigation strategies. Results showed that Leribe farmers’ crop production was affected by climate change impact through yield loss, change of farming method, food shortages and depleted water sources and abandonment of engagement in agriculture for some farmers. The impacts saw farmers losing livelihoods, income generation, and inability to provide food for their families. Farmers seemed to have been surviving through crop production before climate change impacted on their rain fed agriculture and their livestock had endured the impact of climate change and the new methods in agriculture had helped them to continue to grow crops. In order for the farmers in Leribe adapt and mitigate, it is essential for NGOs to adequately capacitate the staff so that they (staff) inculcate knowledge to farmers for efficient implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies which will assist in dealing with impact of climate change. It is recommended that there should be shift in focus and support efforts to come up with a new plan of action that will see adaptive capacity of farmers improved when climate change impact on the farmers’ capacity to grow crops. More understanding and increased knowledge of adaptation and mitigation will see more production and food insecurity will not be a threat. More funding by government will help NGOs build more capacity to farmers, diversification of farming methods and providing farmers with tools for accountability will help farmers scale up their production.