The Government of Sri Lanka with the support of UNDP has secured funding from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for “Strengthening the resilience of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone to climate variability and extreme events through an integrated approach to water management” also termed as Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project(CRIWMP). The proposed project aims to support Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable smallholder farmers in 03 river basins (Mi Oya, Yan Oya & Malwathu Oya) in the Dry Zone, who are facing increasing risks of rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and extreme events attributable to climate change.
The impact of changing seasons, increased floods and droughts and high temperatures are affecting the lives and livelihoods of poor, conflict-affected farmers in the Dry Zone. Variability of rainfall is severely compromising existing village irrigation systems, as well as the availability and quality of water for agriculture and drinking use, further eroding the coping capacity of Dry Zone communities.
In conjunction with Government co-financing leveraged for this project, GCF resources will be used to address several financial, technical, and institutional barriers related to achieving integrated water management to improve agriculture-based livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Dry Zone.
The objective of the project is to strengthen the resilience of smallholder farmers, particularly women, in the Dry Zone through improved water management to enhance lives and livelihoods. To do this, the project will invest in improving the community irrigation water infrastructure and associated agricultural practices, scaling-up decentralized drinking water systems and strengthening Early Warning (EW), forecasting and water management systems to enhance the resilience of smallholder farmer livelihoods to climate related impacts. This project is scheduled to start next year, and this post will support UNDP to undertake preparatory activities for the mobilization of the project in 2017.
The project will be implemented over seven years. The project is designed along three key technical components that are described in detail below;
- Component 1: Climate Resilient Irrigation & Agriculture
Upgrading village irrigation systems (including 325 minor irrigation tanks and related watersheds) and promoting climate-resilient farming practices in three river basins of the Dry Zone. The project will invest in added elements (structural and landscaping) to village irrigation cascades to make them more resilient to climate change. Upgrading the village irrigation cascade systems will be delivered using a participatory approach that involves FOs, field officers of agriculture related government institutions, private sector and local NGOs. This Output will support capacity building, training, and knowledge generation for climate-risk management related to integrated water and agricultural management solutions. The Output will also support targeted women farmers to
adopt recommendations made by the Department of Agriculture for drought tolerant crops and climate smart cropping practices for these agro-climatic zones
- Component 2: Climate Risk Incorporated Drinking Water Solutions
This outcome focuses on enhancing climate resilient, decentralized water supply and management solutions. GCF resources will address the adaptation needs to ensure year round supply of drinking water which is jeopardized due to climate-induced prolonged dry periods and floods. These impacts also affect water quality as floods directly pollute water sources and falling water volumes increase concentration of pollutants. The functional relationship of irrigation and drinking water lies in the climate-risk informed, integrated water resources planning at cascade level which links Outcomes 1 and 2; as tailored advisories and SOPs for supply systems management established under Output 3. Water source protection committees will be created and mobilized with awareness of climate risks and impacts on water quality and equipment for quality testing and source monitoring.
- Component 3: Strengthening Climate Observation & Forecasting Systems
This component deals with strengthening climate and hydrological observing and forecasting system to enhance water management and adaptive capacity. The outputs here address gaps and barriers including inadequacies in the weather monitoring network, water measurement network, forecasting and modelling of the water supply system, as well as inadequate coordination among the sector institutions (DoA, DoM, ID, DAD, DMC etc). A comprehensive and farmer-friendly set of advisories and warnings will be delivered in a timely manner. Interventions in this output will include improvements in the generation, modelling, and dissemination of weather/climate/hydrological information. This will include providing access to weather/climate/hydrological related knowledge, such as advice on future seasonal conditions (for agricultural planning) and early warning of storms and flooding for planning tank releases, water management and monitoring flooding.
TheMinistry of Mahaweli Development and Environment (MoMDE) as the implementing partner will oversee overall project implementation with the support of UNDP.