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CBM UK is part of winning bid to advise Scottish Government’s Climate Just Communities programme in Rwanda and Zambia

Posted on: Thursday, September 14th, 2023

We are delighted to announce our part in Climate Just Communities, a new initiative seeking climate justice in communities severely impacted by climate change. Funded by the Scottish Government, CBM UK will provide disability inclusive advice and support to new programmes which will seek to combat the significant challenges posed by climate crises in Rwanda and Zambia.  

Climate Just Communities is an exciting new initiative engaging local communities in meaningful responses to climate-related issues and emergencies in Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi.  

The programme will be funded by the Scottish Government through their Climate Justice Fund. Following two successful group bids to this Fund, CBM UK will be part of one consortium led by Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF), Trocaire and five local partners in Rwanda (including long-term CBM partner NUDOR, the National Union of Disabilities Organisations of Rwanda), and another consortium led by NIRAS Group (UK) Ltd, with Tearfund and local partners in Zambia including Disability Rights Watch. Each consortium has been awarded an £8 million contract to fund the project.  

CBM UK’s role will be to provide disability inclusion advice and programme assistance as the Climate Just Communities project is designed and delivered. People with disabilities, especially those living in poverty, are among those hit hardest by climate change but rarely included in responding to it, despite being experts in understanding the needs and pursuing a solutions-based approach to the issues. We seek their full inclusion in responses to climate change, from initial programme design through to delivery and evaluation. A fully inclusive approach also ensures other marginalised groups will not be left out, and so entire communities benefit. 

CBM UK’s CEO Kirsty Smith says,  

“It is of vital importance that people with disabilities are consulted at every stage of planning a community’s response to climate-related responses and emergencies. As experts in understanding their own context and identifying their needs and capabilities, people with disabilities have a crucial role to play in building innovative solutions. This is a really exciting opportunity for CBM UK to influence climate action to be more inclusive, and to cement our strong partnerships with NIRAS and with SCIAF.” 

Lorraine Currie, SCIAF’s Director of Integral Human Development said: 

“You don’t have to look far to see the devastation the changing climate is causing around the world. It is those living in some of the world’s poorest places who are bearing the brunt of these catastrophes, despite contributing the least to the climate crisis. This £8 million contract from the Scottish Government is a significant achievement, reinforcing our commitment to collaborating with local communities and drawing on their expertise. Working together with our partners, we will combat the material and social effects of climate change, to secure a promising future for the people of Rwanda.” 

Karen Smith, NIRAS Project Director says,  

“Climate change is a key threat to development in Zambia. The country is experiencing increased frequencies of extreme weather events such as drought and seasonal floods, which disproportionately affect poor, rural households. In the design and delivery of the CJC Zambia programme, we seek to meaningfully engage traditionally marginalised community members, including people with disabilities, to take action in building resilience to the material and social impacts of climate change, to advocate for climate justice, and to create long-term sustainable change. We are thrilled to be working with CBM UK and our local disability inclusion partner Disability Rights Watch to ensure that the needs and priorities of people with disabilities are at the forefront of CJC Zambia, and we look forward to a productive partnership.” 

CBM UK offers advisory services to organisations who want to make their work more disability inclusive.

Read more about our Technical Advisory Services here. 

Main image: A woman sweeps the ground outside her house in Miyove, Rwanda. Credit CBM UK/Habimana