Adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction in selected river basins
Title: Adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction in Ica and Huancavelica, Peru
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Centro Nacional de Estimación, Prevención y Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres (CENEPRED)
Overall term: 2011 to 2016
Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent in Peru as a result of climate change. Agricultural yields are declining due to major temperature fluctuations and changes in the water cycle. There is an increased risk of flooding, mudflows and cold spells, and every year such disasters cause deaths and injuries as well as diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.
In the Ica and Pisco river basins, climate change is having a particularly strong impact on arable farmers and livestock breeders working in the higher regions of the Andes. Yields are declining, and at the same time market prices for traditional products such as potatoes and alpaca wool are also falling. Many people are migrating to the coastal areas of the Ica region, where they often find work in export-oriented agriculture. Such agriculture consumes large amounts of groundwater, which farmers use to cultivate the coastal desert. The groundwater level is falling, and this has already led to conflicts between user groups in the neighbouring regions of Huancavelica and Ica, some of which have been violent. Migrants and other groups often illegally occupy areas that are at risk of flooding or mudflows.
Public disaster management in both regions operates only in a reactive manner. This is due in part to the lack of planning skills and to insufficient awareness of disaster risk reduction options in both local and regional administrations.
Families living in selected villages in the two river basins whose livelihoods and means of production are vulnerable are better prepared to deal with disasters and the effects of climate change.
The affected inhabitants, associations, local non-governmental organisations and municipal managers are taking part in events and training courses that will enable them to deal with the consequences of climate change. They are learning how to use agricultural methods that are adapted to the effects of climate change and how to mitigate risks. Around 20 communities are modifying their crop cultivation and livestock farming practices so that temperature and rainfall fluctuations will no longer have such an adverse effect. As a result, production is gradually increasing. Living conditions are also being adapted to cope with increasingly severe cold spells. Homes are being better insulated and measures to provide heating are being introduced.
The project is bringing users together from the upper and lower basins of the Ica and Pisco rivers so that they can negotiate agreements on sustainable water usage and the integrated management of the river basins, and also resolve conflicts.
The project is working with managers from regional, provincial and district administrations to devise plans for disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change.
Construction of 200 simple shelters for around 21,000 alpacas has led to a 25 per cent reduction in animal deaths during cold periods. 66 micro dams now collect a total of 23,000 cubic metres of rainwater per day and allow it to seep into the ground, with the result that there is more water available at the natural water sources in the surrounding area. 32 small reservoirs have been repaired, enabling 160 farming families to irrigate 80 hectares of agricultural land.
As a result of cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and municipal administrations, financing worth EUR 8.6 million has been provided for eight infrastructure projects through a national irrigation fund. Around 3,500 people now benefit from an additional 380 hectares of irrigated land. By modernising irrigation systems, water consumption has been halved on 180 hectares of land. Working together with farmers, the project has succeeded in increasing the nutritional quality of 55 hectares of pasture land. 1,100 cattle are now better fed, which enables families to produce more meat, milk, cheese and yogurt.
270 new or repaired greenhouses now produce enough fruit and vegetables for around 1,200 people. Project partners have insulated 100 homes that lie 3,500 metres above sea level. The 450 people that live here are now better protected against the cold and cold-related diseases. Participants living in the Ica river basin have taken part in a five-month training course on conflict mitigation and land use planning to make better use of natural resources. Around half of the participants have subsequently formed an expert group to deal with conflict resolution. 70 user groups have been formally set up in cooperation with the national water authority. This makes it easier for them to access sources of funding and influence decision-making.
The city of Ica has installed a flood early-warning system in four districts. Around 17,500 people are now better able to protect themselves from flooding.