Adapting to climate change

Project description

Title: Adapting to climate change
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mozambique
Lead executing agency: National Directorate of Water Resources Management (DNGRH), National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018


Mozambique is one of the countries most affected by the impacts of climate change. Widespread poverty, weak institutions and frequent, extreme weather events make the country particularly vulnerable.

Droughts, floods and tropical cyclones are occurring more and more often, with devastating consequences for the country’s population and its infrastructure. Transboundary river basins are particularly hard hit. The rise in extreme weather events, compounded by uncontrolled logging, slash and burn farming and small-scale mining, is exposing the headwaters of these basins to soil loss and erosion. This in turn has a detrimental impact on the recharge of groundwater, soil retention capacity and the quality of surface water. Severe flooding is more frequently affecting the extensive river plains in the downstream areas, often claiming lives and destroying livelihoods, particularly among the poorest of the poor. In most cases, both droughts and flooding result in crop losses and subsequent famines.


The national framework and the action taken by the relevant stakeholders in the Rio Búzi catchment area are better adapted to the impacts of climate change on water resources.


Numerous disaster risk management projects have led to the accumulation of valuable experience and knowledge, particularly in relation to establishing early warning systems with the participation of the local population. The current project focuses on securing the legal foundations for the early warning system and its institutional integration. It also sets out to tackle the causes of the disasters by improving catchment area management.

GIZ is advising and supporting the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) in developing a sustainability strategy and devising implementing regulations for the national early warning system. In cooperation with the National Directorate of Water Resources Management (DNGRH), GIZ is providing support to decentralised sector authorities, the catchment area committee and the government districts involved. Cooperation among diverse stakeholders at various levels is vital for the success of the project and is therefore promoted intensively.

One of the project’s priorities is integrating adaptation measures into the management of the water catchment area. For the most part, Mozambique shares the catchment areas of the rivers and estuaries which dominate much of its territory with its neighbouring countries. In the light of the above negative impacts of droughts and floods, it is of crucial importance to protect catchment areas and improve the management of available water resources. A committee has been formed consisting of representatives of major water users, including the agricultural sector, municipalities, water suppliers, the energy sector, civil society and environmental protection groups active in the catchment area. Working with these users, the project sets out to prioritise catchment area-specific adaptation measures. The aim is to reduce the vulnerability of the catchment area and its inhabitants to the effects of climate change, and to improve the resilience of the rural population in particular. Selected measures are to be implemented by the participating stakeholders.


The protracted drought of 2016 necessitated numerous emergency measures on the part of the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC), which involved a majority of the organisation’s staff. This limited their availability to work together with the project. Nevertheless, after joint elaboration of the competitive conditions and despite an interruption in the tendering procedure, a contract was awarded in November 2016 for a nationwide sustainability study of the 1,000 local committees for disaster management. The study is due to be completed by mid-2017. It is a prerequisite for achieving the project objective: a model is required to ensure the sustainability of the early warning system and local early warning committees. In parallel, the implementing regulations for the early warning system are currently being formulated.

Along with members of the catchment area committee, 23 staff members from the relevant authorities, including district administrations and the regional water authority ARA-Centro, received training through a six-month course. The five one-week seminars were each followed by phases in which participants were required to write papers on specific topics. The course was designed to prepare them for future tasks related to integrated water resource management and adaptation to climate change in the Rio Búzi catchment area. The results of the participants’ papers are being used to help select priority adaptation measures.

A management unit has been set up within ARA-Centro specifically for the Rio Búzi catchment area. The unit has three staff members and is now ready to start operations.