The Lesotho Meteorological Service (LMS) in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) and Ministry of Forestry, Range Management and Land Reclamation as well as the Ministry of Energy and Meteorology have embarked on a drive to combat the impact of Climate Change in the country.
The parties have embarked a weeklong endeavour to equip the local journalists with skills in regard to an accurate dissemination of information to the public as well as raising awareness under Improving Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable and Food Insecure Population (IACOV) project.
The workshop commenced on Monday and was officially opened by the Minister of Energy and Meteorology Mohapi Mohapinyane, who emphasised government’s commitment towards mainstreaming adaptation to climate change and its impact.
According to IACOV Project Coordinator Nkopo Matsepe, the journalists are featured on the second episode of a project established on October 8, 2020 and set for completion in October 2024.
The arrangement was prepared in 2017 where its leadership took a learning curve to discover the challenges that hamper Basotho to refashion and adapt with a change of climate.
Amongst the findings, Matsepe divulged that not only lack of resources from the government to spread information on time to the public but also lack of education regarding climate change hurdle people’s adaptability to duly adjust their way of life.
“Level of government resources is not up to scratch to disseminate information on to the public regarding this issue.
“There is lack of education to the people who even do not believe on it and cling on to the traditions,” he said.
He continued that they are going to help the government on a focus base-financing to use all structures when the resources are available on the first Component.
“We will be working with experts from outside the country.
“Basotho should be able to have Communication Participatory Planning.
“We have annual financial support, governance technical structure, Project Management Unit,” he said.
“We are going to have monthly and quarterly reports and we are going to work transparently with the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Forestry.
“The media publicity will help as evidence to attract the government and development partners,” he said.
However, the AICOV Component One Manager Mafamo Pholo, said that they are going to engage in early warning as well as travelling to the remotest areas to conduct focus group and dialogue with the public in the second component.
“In AICOV we have Institution Capacity which comprises; LMS, Forestry, Disaster Management Authority (DMA) and other stakeholders like Ministry of Agriculture and Red Cross.
“Under this strategy, we are going to deal with Early Warning where we are going to train the other entities about the capacity gaps to address their challenges,” he said.
“We are also going to go to the sub national level at the districts to enable them all to understand the message of climate change.
“We are going to be able to issue news on time so that the public is notified regarding the changes timely, where we will also have support facilities to aid in the endeavour,” he said.
The media engagement and skills enhancement is happening in two tiers, whence the first part was for editors and the second part for field reporters.