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Enhancing Local Community's Adaptive Capacity to Respond to Flood Risk in the Kano Plains of Western Kenya

Submitted by Tahia Devissche... 10th March 2011 15:41

The changing climatic scenarios in the Lake Victoria basin, extreme climatic events including floods ravage the livelihoods of communities in Kano plains. In the past, long rains were mainly received in March-May but in recent years the long rain period has been rather unpredictable. This leads to destruction of typical food crops, homes, & infrastructure. ACTS, Uhai Lake Forum, and community did a vulnerability assessment to floods and needs assessment through Participatory Action Research (PAR). Participatory rural appraisal approaches including transect walks and mapping of flood vulnerability hot spots were used to produce flood hazard map and a community based map. This was followed by focus group discussions and a key informant survey. Communities have developed endogenous practices: constructing flood management structures (e.g. makeshift bridges, drainage canals, moving to high grounds etc.), adoption of rain water harvesting techniques, and planting food crops (indigenous crops like spider plant & drought-tolerant crops like cassava etc.).

Judi Wakhungu (J.Wakhungu@acts.or.ke), Elvin Nyukuri (nyukuri.e@gmail.com), Joan Kariuki (J.Kariuki@acts.or.ke), Dan Ongor (danongor@yahoo.com), and Charles Tonui (C.Tonui@acts.or.ke)

African Centre for Technology Studies, Uhai Lake Forum