Lesotho wins support from Irish Government for Climate Change action
Ireland’s Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy, T.D., announced on July 1st, the Irish Aid funding to strengthen the ability of developing countries to predict and prepare for extreme weather events. It is facilitated in partnership with Met Éireann, to enable the work of the Systematic Observations Financing Facility (SOFF), established by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN. The Facility is meant to work with developing countries, providing funding and technical expertise to help them to address weather and climate information gaps.
Minister Brophy in his announcement stated that: “We are living through a time when climate change impacts are already devastating peoples’ lives and livelihoods. Initiatives such as the SOFF are crucial to building the capability of developing countries to predict and tackle extreme weather events such as those we are witnessing today. I am pleased to announce Irish support for this innovative programme, which builds on our strong track record in supporting climate adaptation in the most vulnerable countries”
rise International in partnership with Irish charity, Action Ireland Trust, were awarded funding towards their proposed project along with only 3 other grantees. The research project, which will be driven jointly by Action Ireland Trust and rise will examine how Lesotho can move away from imported building materials that have high carbon levels towards local, indigenous construction materials, thereby reducing the overall carbon footprint of Lesotho. The project seeks to address Lesotho’s gaps in the research of sustainable locally sourced construction materials, enabling the construction industry’s transition to becoming more environmentally responsible, by replacing imported environmentally harmful construction materials with locally-made and recycled green products. The project will also examine how to build upon local capacity and to develop entrepreneurial skills in Lesotho, in addition to exploring how building regulations and standards in Lesotho can be enhanced. Additionally, this project aims to support policy makers in reviewing and revising outdated construction regulations and standards, regarding the use of sustainable material and construction techniques for energy efficiency in buildings.
Daniela Gusman, Founder of rise stated: “We are so thrilled with this news, as thanks to this funding from Irish Aid and our partnership with Action Ireland Trust, we are able to research indigenous building techniques and materials, as well as grow local entrepreneurship skills in Basotho traditional building techniques, so as to build Lesotho’s local economy. As well as the economic advantages, this project will also help combat climate change; not just in terms of the usage of more environmentally friendly building materials that have a lower carbon footprint, but also in terms of the construction of buildings that are more thermally efficient. This is especially important in a mountainous country like Lesotho, where the climate is extreme, with bitterly cold winters that get as cold as -15°C and hot Summers when temperatures hover around 28°C.”
Fran Whelan, CEO, Action Ireland Trust said: “We are absolutely delighted to be selected as one of four grant winners by Irish Aid under the ‘Enterprise Fund for International Climate Action’. The project we are planning in Lesotho will create great opportunities in the development of more sustainable construction methods and materials. This research will be very beneficial to not only Lesotho, but also for other countries in Africa. It is a great honor to be the recipient of this grant at a time for urgent change and action around climate change and we look forward to continuing our work with Irish Aid and rise International”.