Empowering Women as Key Leaders in Promoting Community-Based Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Niger Delta Region
Rural communities in the Niger Delta are highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters, which also makes them effective incubators of community-based adaptation strategies. These strategies are often initiated and led by women, who play crucial roles in building the social fabric that makes such adaptation possible. Empirical investigations of climate variability and long-term change, the vulnerability of women and girls, and local adaptation strategies in the Niger Delta have not been given enough attention.
The project aims to contribute to socially equitable development by promoting women-led, community-based initiatives on climate-change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. The project will focus on Delta State, which is the largest state with settlements in the three main ecological zones found within the region — mangrove swamp, freshwater swamp, and lowland rainforest. The project will conduct research, training, and pilot activities in ten rural communities located in the three ecological zones.
A total of 15 community-based adaptation strategies will be tested, including strategies for water preservation, water use, access to potable water, protection of humans and the built environment from water, as well as income generation, food security, and livelihoods. The adaptation strategies are expected to positively impact 50,000 people living in the selected rural communities.
Regionally, the project is expected to contribute to the implementation of the Delta State Government’s climate change policy by establishing sustainable platforms for interaction and embedding them in existing decision-making organs. As a result, the project will indirectly benefit 30 million people in the Niger Delta region, especially highly vulnerable populations such as women and children.