Climate Change on Air

Mapping of Community-based Climate Change Adaptation Initiatives/Projects in Africa

Nigeria 01

1. Title of your Project

Climate Change on Air

2. Name of organisation

Coordinator: The Smallholders Foundation
Implementing: Smallholders themselves
Funding: Worldbank, GEF

3. Location of project

Community: 95 Local government areas of the south-eastern region
Province: Imo, Abia, Enugu, Anambra, and Ebonyi States of Nigeria
Country: Nigeria

4. Project duration

Project started: June 2010
Project finished (if applicable): December 2012

5. Contact information

Name of contact person: Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, Ashoka Fellow, Executive Director
Name of organisation:The Smallholders Foundation
Detailed address: Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.
Phone:+23 480 60 29 23 46
Fax: Not applicable
Website of your project (if different): Not Applicable

6. Summary of practice

Short term objective:

The objective of this project is to empower smallholders to produce and broadcast a 20-episode climate-change radio drama featuring a series of climate risk management strategies with multiple benefits in the local Igbo language. This will be aired on five statewide radio stations over a one-year period, reaching more than 15 million listeners.

Long term objective:

Smallholder farmers in 5 Igbo Language speaking states will develop indigenous micro-climate risks management techniques to secure their livelihood.

Specific problems:

The most serious constraint to climate-change mitigation and adaptation facing more than 10 million smallholders in the five Igbo language-speaking states of southeastern Nigeria is the limited access to information. These small farmers know little about the risks associated with climate change, or its impact on their agricultural productivity and income. Ironically they are presently facing visible changes in weather patterns. These include late rainfalls in an area where food and cash crops are dependent on rainfall, heat waves that destroy valuable crops, storms that increase in frequency and intensity, which washes off topsoil, losing acres of farmland to unchecked soil erosion.

Target groups involved:

Smallholders, rural dwellers, urban dwellers, rural households, radio listeners.

4. Context/Approach description

Smallholders in southeastern Nigeria can prepare for and adapt to the negative effects of climate change only when they understand it and recognize its impacts. These small farmers know little about the risks associated with climate change, or its impact on their agricultural productivity and income.

Raising the adaptive/coping capacity of local communities

5. Community involvement (ca. 0.25 – 0.5 page)

This project is an idea between The Smallholders Foundation and smallholders themselves drawn from 5 states of south eastern region of Nigeria. As such the project has already engaged with the major stakeholders who are smallholders in 95 local government areas of the 5 states in the south east geo-political region. Functional alliances has been established with the state and local government chapters of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), smallholders community based organizations, village men and women associations, village farmers crop variety clubs and community age grade associations. Because information is only appreciated from rural people when it originates from themthis alliance is for the selection and training of a team of 30 smallholders drawn from each of the 95 local government areas. These smallholders will develop the drama scripts and animate the drama.

For the first time, small farmers at the base of the pyramid will be transformed from mere receivers to participants and managers of an information system. The project prides itself on an effective two-way feedback system in which feedback is generated immediately after radio broadcasts by smallholder listeners’ clubs, using solar-powered radios and Advancement through Interactive Radio (AIR) devices. These are solar-powered, user-recorded voice inputs that asynchronously forward voice feedback to the radio station via an ad hoc, delay-tolerant network.

6. Results & Lessons learned

6.1 Results

What are the main project results (where possible, include the number of beneficiaries of the project + their obtained benefits as result of the project)?

Main project results:

  • Smallholder farmers in the targeted states develop indigenous micro climate risks management techniques to secure their livelihood.
  • Increased smallholder’s knowledge of climate change and  use of indigenous adaptation strategy

6. 2 Critical Success Factors

  • Radio drama broadcast airtime expenses

Due to commercialization of state-wide radio broadcasts the challenge associated with the implementation of the project is the high costs associated with the 30 minutes airtime that will utilized for the purposes of drama broadcasts. However, we have tackled this challenge with the establishment of partnership with the state governments through the respective Ministries of Information and the concerned radio stations management. To this end agreement for the airtime has been entered by all parties with a laudable 75% discount granted us for broadcast from the existing airtime rate.

6.3. Transferability 

Do you think your project has potential for replication, meaning using it in other communities?

The Smallholders Foundation has extensive 6 years experience in the development of effective radio broadcast drama which informs, educates and improves the economic development of smallholders in south eastern and south southern Nigeria. It enters into functional partnership with smallholders for these purposes and ensures a process of extensive communities participatory idea refinement. In this case of this project, the idea refinement with smallholders was to ensure that critical information is gathered about the radio drama broadcast area. The broadcast environment provides market opportunities for each episode of the radio drama. Several 2 - 5 minute airtime will be sold through public announcements, local advertisements, greeting requests, production agreements, listener subscriptions for special episodes.

Funds generated will be placed in a Special Bank Account to be used in the development of further radio drama scripts for scaling and replication of “Climate Change on Air” to 6 states in south south before extension to the south west.

The project will be scaled to 6 states within the south south geo-political zone Nigeria reaching additional 20 million listeners in 8 local languages in 2 years time. By the 3rd year we will scale up to the 6 states of the south western region reaching another 35 million listeners in 1 language Yoruba. By the 3rd  and 4th year we will extend our coverage to North Central, North Eastern  and North Western  geopolitical zones reaching out to over 60 million listeners in 5 local languages.