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Increase Community Resilience to Drought in Makueni District, Kenya.

Submitted by Tahia Devissche... 16th July 2010 14:55

Photo: World Bank photo collection

Drought events associated with climate variability and climate change have become more pronounced in Kenya in recent years, particularly affecting its agricultural production—the main livelihood activity of most Kenyans. By working with a small community in the mixed farming area of Mbooni East District (formerly part of Makueni District), the Kenya pilot project is implementing actions that are reducing the vulnerability of farming communities to current climate variability and long-term climate change. The pilot project aims to increase household food security, reduce poverty through improved livelihoods, and facilitate the integration of adaptation to climate change into policies related to disaster management and the sustainable development of arid and semi-arid lands.

Activities being undertaken at the community level include: downscaling of climate forecasts and communicating them to farmers in a way that has relevance to their needs; diversifying production systems by promoting drought-escaping crops and enhancing community capacity in seed bulking; strengthening the credit system for self-help groups to allow generation of new income activities; and improving access to water through the construction of sand dams and the introduction of drip irrigation. Lessons learned through these activities have been integrated into the regional activities of the Arid Lands Resource Management Project. They have also been used to influence the development of Kenya's National Disaster Management Policy and the policies of Kenya's Ministry of Northern Kenya and Arid Lands.

Local executing agency: Centre for Science and Technology Innovations with the Arid Lands Resource Management Project.