Why decentralise climate finance programme launched

27Jun 2016
Gerald Kitabu
The Guardian
Why decentralise climate finance programme launched

The government has issued a strong warning to executive directors and other government officials who will squander public funds directed for adaption and mitigation of climate change in the country.

Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local government (PO-RALG), Eng. Musa Iyombe addresses participants before he officially launched the programme.

The Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and local government (PO-RALG), Eng. Musa Iyombe issued the warning at the launching of decentralised climate change financing over the weekend in Dodoma.

Eng Iyombe said urged the government officials to spend the money they get with very high discipline and integrity; adding that any misappropriation of the funds will lead to severe punishment.

He said that the implementation must be result oriented; saying that the fifth phase government was keeping a close eye on how the money injected for a targeted purpose is spent.

“I want to see the programme and how you are going to implement. I know you are all aware on how the fifth phase government works. I don’t want to see any person misusing these funds,” he warned.

The programme is funded by UKAID with technical support by the International Institute of Environment and Development-IIED and United Nations Capita Development Fund (UNCDF).

It aimed at getting climate adaption money to local communities, making sure they play a part in deciding how that money is spent. The program is also embedded in development aspects.

The impacts of climate change pose a significant threat to local livelihoods and economic activities across Tanzania including Zanzibar. In response, Tanzania joined with partners from Civil Society organisations particularly Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) and government Institutions to officially launch the decentralised climate finance programme.

The programme which had been piloted in three districts of Ngorongoro, Longido and Monduli in Arusha, will be scaled up to other twelve districts in Tanzania.
Earlier, in her presentation, senior climate change advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG), Dr Lucy Ssendi said that the 5-year programme will facilitate investments in improving responses to climate change across 15 test districts in mainland Tanzania and three districts in Zanzibar.

Without disclosing the total amount of money to be used in the programme, she named the beneficiary districts as Ngorongoro, Longido,Monduli, Manyoni, Kilwa, Mpwapwa, Bahi, Kiteto, Kondoa, Mbulu,Simanjiro, Siha, Iramba, Same, and Pangani.

“I can’t tell now the total amount of money to be used because we are still negotiating with other partners. These districts were selected because of the very severe effects of climate change particularly droughts and floods to local communities, but later on it will scaled up across Tanzania,” she noted.

The programme will generate lessons that can be applied across Tanzania more widely. It will accomplish this by linking financial capital from the green climate fund (GCF) with local governments in communities where such investments are likely to have the greatest impact.

The President’s Office-Regional Administration and Local government (PO-RALG) has a mandate to manage the programme in collaboration with the Vice President’s Office, Ministry of Finance and planning, Institute of Rural Development Planning and Local Government Training Institute (Hombolo).

Others are Tanzania Meteorological Agency, Hakikazi and Tanzania Natural Resource Forum.

Using the “Devolution by decentralisation” framework, funds will be channeled effectively to local governments in a manner which contributes to good governance and accountability.

PO-RALG will use the continuous learning and evidence generated from the project experience to facilitate dialogue at local, nation and international levels.
The progamme will facilitate this process through capacity building with the (PO-RALG), creating pilot funding programmes, and conducting monitoring and evaluation activities.

The programme is specifically, intended to achieve the following goals: Establish a performance based climate resilience grant (LoCAL) system in Tanzania which will be operational for additional funding in the future.

Other goals include establishing decentralised district climate finance and planning mechanisms in 15-district councils in Mainland Tanzania and 3 districts in Zanzibar to finance community prioritised investments in public goods that build climate resilience.

Ensuring that investment that build climate resilience are effectively and efficiently implemented and managed by districts, and that their performance transparently assessed as part of the grant mechanism.

Others are to build the capacity of PO-RALG to develop necessary competences to scale up the decentralised climate finance in support of community-driven adaptation across Tanzania.

Also in the list are to generate evidence and learning on the effectiveness of decentralised climate finance investments to improve community resilience, differentiated by gender, which can be used to inform policy.

“If successful by 2021, we will have helped Tanzanian communities to cope with the effect of climate change and learn more about how this kind of approach be rolled out across Tanzania,” Dr Lucy Ssendi said.

In his comments, climate change advisor, in the Department for International Development (DFID), Dr Abdallah Said Shah said that UKAID works in the development sector especially empowering institutions and help people address challenges they face.

“One of the challenges affecting people today is the issue of climate change; so, we need to work closely with the international community, government institutions and other stakeholders to empower them and find out plans and strategies to address such challenges,” Shah noted.

The Executive Director of Tanzania Natural Resource Form (TNRF) Joseph Olila explained that being as one of the stakeholders to the programme, one of their tasks will be to provide expertise in the programme.

“PO-RALG is the lead Ministry in this programme. Our organisation, which promotes the improvement of natural resource governance to achieve more suitable rural livelihoods and better conservation outcomes, will work closely with district councils from the grassroots level to ensure this programme becomes successful,” he urged.

For his part, senior financial management officer in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Jimreeves Naftal said that the ministry will release the money on time, and will provide guidelines on the spending of the money.

He warned implementers to put forward commitment, patriotism and integrity when using the money during implementation of the programme.

“The funds will be released timely, and will follow normal procedures and systems under our guidelines. Therefore, we have to be careful when spending this money otherwise we shall not be doing fair to our own people, the nation and the donors,” he warned.

Explaining how the three districts in Arusha were badly affected by the 2008/9 climate change, a consultant for the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), Alais Morindat said that during that time many cattle died.

“The pastoralists were badly hit in Monduli District in the 2008/9. The pastoralists remained with only one dam to feed their cattle. They were forced to wake-up early in the morning and took their cattle to the dam, before realising later on that climate change had knocked at their doors,” he noted.

For his part, LoCal programme Manager, Fakri Karim said that he was very happy to be part of the progamme. The LoCal is the UNCDF facility for investment in local level climate resilience. The facility channels global adaptation finance to local governments who are in the frontline of dealing with the effect of climate change and enables them to invest in building local resilience.

He said that the UNCDF local climate adaptive living facility (LoCAL) provides a mechanism to increase awareness and local response to climate change adaptation into local governments planning and budgeting systems, and increase the amount of finance available to local governments for climate resilience.

“LoCAL Facility connects to the existing national intergovernmental fiscal transfer systems and supplements capital grants to local governments with performance based climate adaptation funding,” he said.

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