19 September 2013

Liberia: New Words for Climate Change Coined in Krahn and Kpelle

Monrovia — Nchn-béjé (nohn-bejee) is a new word for climate change in the Krahn dialect, and meinéé mã faltinyom (mennie-ma-fallahn-hm) in the Kpelle dialect. The words were coined at a Farmers' Exchange Day held in Gaye Town, Grand Gedeh County from 13-14 September.

The farmers were brought together under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Government of Liberia (GOL) climate change agriculture adaptation project implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The purpose of the Farmers' Exchange Day was to find out farmers' understanding of climate change and share their experiences on how they are adapting to Climate Change since the inception of the project.

By coining a name for climate change in their dialects shows that the impacts of climate change on agriculture are becoming significant and adaption actions need to be taken to address the problems. The farmers complained of low harvest due to changes in the weather.

"The hunger will not be easy in our area this year" said Esther Paye, a female farmer in Panta District, Bong County. Madame Paye explained that farmers had expected rains between May and April, but unfortunately experienced a very hot and sunny weather instead.

According to her, this has negatively affected their crops. The project is to train farmers in various adaptation measures.Already 25 farmers from each pilot site, 8 facilitators and 4 District Agriculture Extension Officer have been recruited for training by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) at a special Farmer's Field School.

The GEF/UNDP/GoL project is piloting climate change agriculture adaptation measures in Gbarzon District in Grand Gedeh County and Panta District in Bong County.

The main objective of the project is to enhance resilience and reduce vulnerabilities of poor farming communities to the adverse impacts of climate change.

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