In central Gambia, the life of Bintou Nije and other smallholder farmers was not easy. They used to dig wells to water their crops, but there was never enough water and the work was time consuming. Without proper fences, rodents would often attack and eat their meagre crops.
Climate change made this difficult situation even worse. Rainfall patterns have changed and water shortages are becoming ever more serious. Villagers could no longer grow traditional 'cold season' vegetables, such as onions, due to rising temperatures.
To better adapt to climate change, the farmers received agricultural training through the Job, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth Programme by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and its partners, funded by the European Union. As part of the JSF Programme, villagers took part in Cash for Work activities. They also decided to invest in improvements to their gardens, building a solar-powered irrigation system and fences to protect the crops. These climate adaptation activities are delivered using the Local Climate Adaptive Living (LoCAL) Facility designed by UNCDF, which aims to increase finance and investment in climate change adaptation at the local level.
With new skills and better irrigation system has improved the farmers' lives. And the vegetables in their gardens are growing bigger and healthier year by year.(Video produced in partnership with UNCDF)