government on job creations.
Climate change impacts are strongly evident in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands, which cover 82% of the country’s total land area and host close to 70% of its livestock. Over the last 10 years, persistent drought, high temperature, and depletion of water sources has led to a 21% decline in livestock as a livelihood source in northern Kenya’s Garissa County. Crop production has also been severely affected by drought, occasional floods, pests, and diseases. These factors contribute to Garissa’s 70% poverty-index rating (compared with the national average of 48%, according to government figures).
Results from climate modelling and downscaling techniques also indicate that by 2100, mean temperatures will increase by 3-4°C, further limiting water availability for livestock and pasture. IDRC-funded researchers at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) are working with farmers in Garissa County to help them adapt to a changing climate and secure their livelihoods.
New technologies and management practices
The research team and farmers tested a wide range of technologies and management practices for improved livestock productivity, which are suited to changing climatic conditions. Drawing on advice from extension officers and the research team on breed selection and herd management, pastoralists saw a 50% increase in livestock productivity by raising climate-resilient goats, sheep, camel, and cattle breeds. This increase in productivity will also allow the pastoralists to reduce herd sizes, in turn reducing overgrazing and soil erosion.
Farmers learned new techniques for producing livestock fodder, with important outcomes for household food security. For instance, one acre of Sudan grass can produce 3.6 tons of cattle feed in a year, enough to feed three cows (a typical household herd) during the annual four-month dry season and for the cows to produce sufficient milk for a family of four. Alternatively, sale of the fodder can generate revenue of up to US$1,160 per year, equivalent to average annual per-capita income in Kenya.
Farmers explored how they can diversify production and reduce vulnerability to climate-related crop disease caused by over-reliance on a single crop (such as maize). They tested a range of alternative crops that perform well despite climate shocks and variability, including sweet potato, sorghum, cassava, beans, and finger millet. Of those farmers who participated in the research, 65% are now producing sweet potato to feed their families and for sale in markets, where they are earning up to $US110 per ton. Legume varieties were also found to provide multiple benefits: they improve soil fertility and soil moisture retention, double as cover crops, and can also be used for household consumption or to feed livestock.
Scaling up climate-resilient agriculture
At the start of the project, 188 farmers were involved in testing technologies. Now, more than 800 are using the improved methods. Even greater numbers of farmers are being reached through demonstration sites, farmer field schools, study visits and exchanges, and theoretical and practical field days.
The research team has actively engaged a wide range of stakeholders, including different levels of government, since the project began. Many of the research results are now being captured in County Integrated Development Plans, and all counties have since committed funding toward scaling up successful technologies. For example, the Tana River County government Invested US$18,000 toward the purchase of 4.7 tonnes of drought-resilient seed for distribution to farmers. National government officials have also invited KALRO researchers to help develop Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan and the National Communication on climate change, which will be submitted to the UNFCCC.
The success of drip kit irrigation for horticultural production has attracted a private Investors, Equator Kenya Limited. The company provided drip kits to 300 farmers in Tana River for chilli production (through loans of US$74 per kit). One drip kit can irrigate one acre of chilli, generating an annual average of US$1,400 per acre for farmers.
These collaborations will help to ensure that research findings on improved agricultural techniques have widespread application, and that they contribute to protecting farmer livelihoods and food security in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands.
The project "Agricultural Productivity and Climate Change in Arid and Semiarid Kenya" is funded through IDRC's Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean with funds from the Government of Canada's fast-start Financing.
with collaboration with MCMC(K) we have always urged its contributing partners in applying better crop management as it always changes livelihood of those people living in Arid and Semi-Arid areas though these has not been 100% fulfilled but with time things will pick up from the current trend of changes which are being felt by the farmers.
Turkana area still lack behind on this and all year round there has been food insecurity among the Turkana community resulting to poor yields in both animal and crops.
Promote girls’ primary and secondary education and women’s literacy
Education is key to an effective response to HIV/AIDS. UBEW's Studies show that educated women are more likely to know how to prevent HIV infection, to delay sexual activity and to take measures to protect themselves. Education also accelerates behaviour change among young men, making them more receptive to prevention messages. Universal primary education is not a substitute for expanded HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, but it is a necessary component that complements these efforts.
With much effort made ubew has foreseen orphans excel in education and taking care of their young siblings/being fostering parents to their siblings. Due to these efforts made most of these orphans graduate to good citizens and well informed about what lays ahead, in accordance to the orphaned education women literacy too is growing rapidly due to most women being illiterate
Programmed area on HIV/AIDS have been very much hindered by the societal educational level of which our societies especially the ASAD areas (arid and semi-arid areas) of which the stigamatization leave alone being sure of the disease since these societies are nomads (pastoralists) of which their communities have no knowledge of the disease existence.
Approaches for Empowering Women in the HIV/AIDS Pandemic: A Gender Perspective
Thus, to empower women we must:
Give them the information they need about their bodies and sex. Information is power and women have the right to receive it. Give women the skills they need to use a condom.
Make them condom literate. Provide skills training on communication about sex and foster inter-partner communication. Improve women’s access to economic resources. Ensure that they have property and inheritance rights, have access to credit, receive equal pay for equal work, have the financial, marketing and business skills necessary to help their businesses grow, have access to the agricultural extension services to ensure the highest yield from their land, have access to formal sector employment, and are protected in the informal sector from exploitation and abuse.
Ensure that women have access to health services and that they have HIV and STI prevention technologies that they can control, such as the female condom and micro-bicides. And support the development of an AIDS vaccine that is safe, effective, and accessible to women and young girls.