ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

Abstract: Agriculture supports up to 75% of the Kenyan population and generates almost all the country’s food requirements. However drought are the major constraints to rain-fed agricultural production, especially in arid and semi arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya which form about 88% of the country. In the last 100 years, Kenya has recorded 28 droughts, three of them in the last decade. The frequency and severity of droughts seems to be increasing in the country over time. The result has been total crop failures and livestock deaths triggering severe food shortages in the country and more specifically in ASAL districts. Between 1993 to date, the government of Kenya has declared 7 national disasters out of which 5 were drought related. These declarations followed the droughts of 1992-93, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2005-06 and 2008-09 when the Kenya government requested international communities for food aid. About 28 ASAL districts in Kenya have been placed under Emergency Operation Programme (EMOP) due to the heightening food insecurity caused by droughts. This paper highlights the effects of drought on food security in Kenya with special reference to Central and Mukogodo Divisions of the semi arid areas of Laikipia District, Kenya.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Impacts & Responses
CLIMATE
CHANGE
www.Climate-Journal.com
JOURNAL
THE INTERNATIONAL
of
Volume 2, Number 2
The Effects of Droughts on Food Security in Kenya
Julius M. Huho and Edward M. Mugalavai
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
http://www.Climate-Journal.com
First published in 2010 in Champaign, Illinois, USA by Common Ground Publishing LLC
www.CommonGroundPublishing.com.
© 2010 (individual papers), the author(s)
© 2010 (selection and editorial matter) Common Ground
Authors are responsible for the accuracy of citations, quotations, diagrams, tables and
maps.
All rights reserved. Apart from fair use for the purposes of study, research, criticism or
review as permitted under the Copyright Act (Australia), no part of this work may be
reproduced without written permission from the publisher. For permissions and other
inquiries, please contact
<cg-support@commongroundpublishing.com>.
ISSN: 1835-7156
Publisher Site: http://www.Climate-Journal.com
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES is peer-reviewed, supported by rigorous processes of criterion-referenced
article ranking and qualitative commentary, ensuring that only intellectual work of the
greatest substance and highest significance is published.
Typeset in Common Ground Markup Language using CGCreator multichannel
typesetting system
http://www.commongroundpublishing.com/software/
The Effects of Droughts on Food Security in Kenya
Julius M. Huho, Maseno University, Kenya
Edward M. Mugalavai, Maseno University, Kenya
Abstract: Agriculture supports up to 75% of the Kenyan population and generates almost all the
country’s food requirements. However drought are the major constraints to rain-fed agricultural
production, especially in arid and semi arid lands (ASALs) of Kenya which form about 88% of the
country. In the last 100 years, Kenya has recorded 28 droughts, three of them in the last decade. The
frequency and severity of droughts seems to be increasing in the country over time. The result has
been total crop failures and livestock deaths triggering severe food shortages in the country and more
specically in ASAL districts. Between 1993 to date, the government of Kenya has declared 7 national
disasters out of which 5 were drought related. These declarations followed the droughts of 1992-93,
1996-97, 1999-2000, 2005-06 and 2008-09 when the Kenya government requested international
communities for food aid. About 28 ASAL districts in Kenya have been placed under Emergency Op-
eration Programme (EMOP) due to the heightening food insecurity caused by droughts. This paper
highlights the effects of drought on food security in Kenya with special reference to Central and
Mukogodo Divisions of the semi arid areas of Laikipia District, Kenya.
Keywords: Drought, Food Security, ASALs, Kenya
Introduction
CLIMATE CHANGE CAN be dened as a change of climatic patterns which is at-
tributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alter composition of the global
atmosphere and which is in addition to natural variability observed over a comparable
time period (Awuor, 1997). Frequent droughts experienced today are consequences
of climate change. Drought is a form of environmental stress that originates from a deciency
in precipitation over an extended period of time long enough to cause moisture deciency,
biotic loss, crop failure, loss of lives both human and bovine and general hardships (Ngaira
2004). Approximately 60% of the world’s population is affected by drought. About 630
million of this population live in the arid and semi arid lands (ASALs) of the world (Ngaira,
2005; O’Hare and Sweeney, 1986) and mainly engage in rain-fed subsistence farming for
their livelihoods (Ribot et al., 1996).
Parry et al. (1990) observe that the 1970s and 1980s were decades of drought in which
most parts of the world received less than average rainfall that reduced crop productivity.
Rural hardships and suffering were common in California, Mexico, Peru, India and
throughout much of Africa. In parts of the arid and semi arid northern Mexico, the summer
of 1970 led to more than 35% of the cropland being lost to drought. The 1987 drought ad-
versely affected 960,000 hectares of cropland reducing rice production by about 8.2% from
the previous season (Panturat and Eddy, 1992). In the semi arid northeastern Brazil, the 1987
drought resulted in a 7% reduction in area under cultivation (Ribot et al., 1996). In the Eyre
Peninsula of South Australia, Heathcote (1996) observes that the dry season from 1975 to
The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses
Volume 2, Number 2, 2010, http://www.Climate-Journal.com, ISSN 1835-7156
© Common Ground, Julius M. Huho, Edward M. Mugalavai, All Rights Reserved, Permissions:
cg-support@commongroundpublishing.com
1980 caused some 937 (42.3%) of the 2187 total rural land holders to apply for drought relief,
of which 858 were given loans totalling US dollars 13.4 million.
The incidences of drought from 1970 to 2006 accounted for 20% of the natural disasters
that hit Africa and affected over 80% of the population (Ayoti, 2008). In 1983-85, hundreds
of thousands of people died as a result of famine necessitated by poor plant growth that re-
duced agricultural yields in Ethiopia and Sudan (Pickering and Owen, 1994). Between 1989
and 1990 twenty-one nations in Africa faced severe food shortages, which required emergency
aid amounting to 243 million US Dollars. This accounted for about half of the Food and
Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) total external aid (Fahmey, 1992). In 1991-92 about 85%
of the crop areas in Southern Province of Zambia, 67% in Lusaka Province, 61% in Western
Province, 37% in Eastern Province and 51% in Central Province were affected by drought
(Tiffen, 1995). The 2006 incidence of drought in the Horn of Africa was severe with over
18 million people in ve countries suffering from food shortages in Ethiopia, Djibouti,
Somalia and some parts of northern and eastern Kenya (Ayoti, 2008). In Kenya, famine relief
has become a regular feature in some parts of the ASALs such as Machakos, Laikipia,
Turkana and Isiolo Districts (Government of Kenya (GoK), 2002).
Droughts in Kenya
Drought events associated with climate change and climate variability have become more
pronounced in Kenya in recent years, adversely affecting agricultural production (UNEP,
2007). In the last 100 years, Kenya has recorded 28 major droughts, three of them in the last
decade. The severity and frequency of droughts seem to increase in the country over time
(Murungaru, 2003). During the last half of the 20th Century droughts in Kenya occurred in
1951, 1952-55, 1957-58, 1974-76, 1980-81, 1983-85, 1987, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1999-2000
and 2004-06 (Downing et al., 1985; Ngaira, 2004). Between 1993 to date, Kenya has declared
seven national disasters in 1992-93, 1995-96, 1999-2001, 2004-2006 and 2008-09 due to
droughts and 1997-98 and 2003 due to oods related effects. In between these years, a series
of severe weather related emergencies, particularly droughts, oods and landslides, not de-
clared a national disaster, but fairly threatening were experienced (Murungaru, 2003). Ac-
cording to Oxfam (2006) drought conditions in Kenya today are becoming the norm and
non-drought years the exception in ASALs. The rapid recurrence of drought-related shocks
leaves inadequate recovery time before the next shock occurs. This means that an increasing
number of households, the majority of them being pastoralists, are losing their capacity to
participate economically and to be self food-sufcient through the practice of rain-fed agri-
culture. About 70% of the Kenya’s land mass is affected by drought. Table 1 shows the area
and the effects of recent droughts in different parts of Kenya.
Due to widespread drought prone areas in Kenya, vulnerability to food insecurity is high,
especially among the pastoralists and small-scale agriculturalists in the ASALs of the country
(UNDP, 2005). ASALs are home to more than 30% of its total human population and nearly
50% its livestock population. These areas receive low and erratic bimodal rainfall that is
highly variable both in time and space causing severe food shortages. Approximate rainfall
expectancy in arid areas range from 150-450 mm in arid areas and between 500 and 800
mm in semi arid areas in a year (GoK, 2004). Kenya has in the past recorded decits of food
due to drought resulting from a shortfall in rainfall in 1928, 1933-34, 1937, 1939, 1942-44,
1947, 1951, 1952-55, 1957-58, 1974-1976, 1980-81, 1983-85, 1991-92, 1995-96 1999-2000,
62
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
2004-06 and 2008-09 (Downing et al., 1985; Ngaira, 2004; Muchemi, 2005; OCHA, 2009).
About 28 ASAL districts in Kenya, Laikipia District included, have been placed under
Emergency Operation Programme (EMOP) due to the heightening food insecurity caused
by droughts.
Table 1: Recent Drought Incidences in Kenya
EffectsRegionYear
Maasai cattle losses of about 80%Most parts of Kenya1974-76
Crop production paralyzed and water shortages in
towns
Eastern, Central, Western
Coast Provinces
1980
Crop failure causing famine in the provinceEastern Province1981
Migration of people and livestock in search of food,
water shortages
Countrywide1983
Large food decits leading to consumption of the
yellow maize and large food queues in the supermar-
kets
Central, Rift valley, East-
ern and North eastern
Provinces
1984-85
Severe food shortages in eastern, less in centralEastern and Central
Provinces
1987
70% loss of livestock, severe food shortagesNorth eastern, Eastern,
Rift valley and Central
Provinces
1991-92
Large food decits causing relief food importsNorth eastern, Central
and Eastern Provinces
1994-95
4.7 million people dependent on relief food, water
shortages
Countrywide1999-2000
Acute food shortages in pastoral and agro-pastoral
areas, 4.4 million people affected.
Most parts of Kenya2004-06
2.6 million people were at risk of starvation.
Up to 70% loss of livestock in some pastoral com-
munities.
Acute food and water shortages in pastoral and agro-
pastoral areas.
Most parts of Kenya2008-2009
About 3.8 million people urgently required food aid
and about 6.2 million were at risk of starvation
Loss of wildlife animals- 40 elephants died
Source: UNEP, 2000, Ngaira, 2004; KRCS, 2005; OCHA, 2009)
Agriculture in the ASALs of Kenya
Agriculture supports up to 75% of the Kenyan population and generates almost all the
country’s food requirements, which in turn depends on rainfall (UNDP, 2007). However,
63
JULIUS M. HUHO, EDWARD M. MUGALAVAI
only about 12% of Kenya’s landmass is of medium to high agricultural potential due to ad-
equate and reliable rainfall. The rest of the country (about 88%) falls under ASALs which
are of low agricultural potential (Kinyua, 2004). Semi arid areas are only suitable for rain-
fed marginal crop production and livestock farming for subsistence. This form of agriculture
does not provide substantial contribution to the economies, producing barely enough food
for human survival (William and Balling, 1996). Two major types of rain-fed subsistence
agriculture practiced in the ASALs of Kenya are: small-scale mixed farming which involves
growing of crops and keeping of livestock practiced by small-scale holders in the sub humid
and semi arid zone and pastoralism which involve keeping of large herds of livestock only.
Pastoralism is carried out in the arid and the very arid parts of Kenya. The exchange of
livestock for grain and other consumer goods is common in these areas (Gok, 1991; GoK,
2007).
Droughts are the major constraints to rain-fed agricultural production in ASALs. Biamah
(2005) observes that rain-fed crop farming in the semi-arid areas have a 25-75% risk of crop
failure while the arid regions have a 75-100% risk of crop failure. Therefore, pastoralists
and marginal agriculturalist in the ASALs were considered to be the most vulnerable to the
effects of droughts because their livelihoods rely heavily on climate performance with a very
weak economic base. The most adversely affected by drought is the agricultural sector, which
has obvious implications on food security (Ngaira, 2005).
Study Area and Methods of Data Collection
This study was carried out in the semi arid areas of Laikipia District in Kenya. Data was
collected from Central and Mukogodo Divisions. The two divisions lie between longitudes
36034” and 37024” East and latitudes 0002” South and 0033” North (Fig 1). Rainfall follows
the seasonal movements of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) resulting in two
rainfall seasons, the long rains that occur in March, April and May and the short rains that
occur in October, November and December. The study area is located in the rain shadow of
Mount Kenya. Rainfall is generally low with mean annual rainfall of 636.6 mm and 507.8
mm in Central and Mukogodo Divisions respectively. The close proximity of Mukogodo
Division to the low corridors of the northern and north eastern Kenya, which forms part of
the dry region that covers northeastern Africa and Arabia, makes the division receive relatively
lower rainfall amounts. Food is mainly produced through small-scale rain-fed mixed farming
in Central Division and pastoralism in Mukogodo Division. The main methods of data col-
lection were the use of questionnaires, interview schedules and observation. A total of 383
farmers were interviewed, 55 pastoralists from Mukogodo Division and 328 mixed farmers
from Central Division. Relevant literature was obtained from libraries and Laikipia District
documentation centre to supplement information obtained from the eld.
64
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
Figure 1: Location of Laikipia District in Kenya (Source GoK, 2002)
Results and Discussion
Droughts in the Study Area
Droughts in the study area occurred when annual rainfall received was below the means of
636.6mm and 507.8mm in Central and Mukogodo Divisions respectively. Between 1975
and 2008, Central Division recorded 16 droughts, which ranged in severity from mild to
severe droughts. These droughts occurred in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988,
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2009. Mukogodo Division recorded a
total of 19 droughts with severity ranging from mild to extreme. The droughts occurred in
1976, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000,
2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Droughts in the study area occurred in runs more than
singly with a return period of 2-3 years. About 85.7 and 70.5% of the droughts in Central
and Mukogodo Divisions respectively occurred in runs as prolonged drought events an in-
dication that persistent rather than occurrence of single events. The prolonged drought oc-
curred concurrently in both the divisions in 1982-85, 1991-96, 1999-2000 and 2008-2009.
65
JULIUS M. HUHO, EDWARD M. MUGALAVAI
Effects of Droughts on Food Security
Low Crop Yields
Lack of planting seeds, wilting of crops, stunted growth and crop failures, all caused by
droughts, were the major causes of low crop yields in the study area. During drought periods,
peasant farmers in the study area consumed all harvested yields together with the planting
seeds. In Central Division, for example, apart from maize, planting of other food crops, es-
pecially beans and potatoes relies on uncertied seeds originating from on-farm storage or
local markets. The surplus yields were sold to buy certied maize seeds (Kohler, 1985).
Therefore, consumption of stored yields affected the availability of planting seeds resulting
in late planting due to lack of seeds. According to the respondents, late planting resulted due
to lack of seeds. Since circumstances sometimes forced farmers to sell the treated seeds and
fertilizers donated to them by the Kenya government and Non Governmental Organizations
(NGOs). This led to planting of less suitable seeds for areas with low rainfall. Kairu (2002)
notes that low crop production in the semi arid Laikipia District is partly caused by inappro-
priate cultivar for high altitude and arid areas. Use of uncertied seeds, which is a common
practice, has also resulted in low yields in ASALs. Between 1990 and 2005, the mean annual
maize and bean yields per hectare were 18.7 and 3.6 bags respectively. However, during
drought years annual crop yields dropped from the mean by between -9.6 and -84% in maize
yields and between -2.8 and -72.2% in bean yields depending on drought severity (Figure
2). This translated to hunger and famine especially during severe droughts such as the 1999-
2000 drought.
Figure 2: Percentage below Average in Annual Maize and Bean Production (1990-2005)
Source: Field Data, 2008
The progressive decline in crop yields between 1991 and 1994 was partly due to declining
rainfall amounts and partly to lack of farm inputs due to the cumulative effects of drought.
Poor yields for the year 2001 were as a result of lack of planting seeds other than rainfall
deciency as per the eld data. Since the year had above normal rainfall.
66
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
Reduced Rain-fed Crop Farming Activities
The impacts of droughts are mainly seen in poor crop and animal production, culminating
into food insecurity, hunger, starvation and loss of livestock (Ngaira, 2005). Massive crop
failures in Central Division had incapacitated farmers, forcing them to reduce the acreage
under subsistence agriculture in favour of paid jobs in urban areas and hence, triggering
rural-urban migration of the labour force. The study established that farmers had reduced
cultivated lands by between 30 and 60% in Central Division. The reduction was caused by
lack of farm inputs, out migration and the need to increase the area under pasture for livestock.
Farmers stated that livestock had more returns than crops. Reduced farming activities were
common in other parts of Kenya during drought events. For example, during the 2003 drought
in Baringo District, communities turned to wild fruits and leaves in a bid to cushion them
from starvation thus reducing farming activities since most women who provided farm labour
were in the elds searching for wild fruits (GoK, 2007). Glantz (1987) asserts that in the
event of severe and prolonged droughts, farmers may drift to urban centres in search for
work or the entire family may abandon their land in search of emergency food supplies at
famine centres. Those who choose to farm in case the rains return operate under conditions
where most, if not all, of the necessary production assets have been destroyed. Such drought
conditions affect the amount of planted acreage hence threaten food security.
Changes in Planting Dates
There has been a gradual change in planting dates, cropping patterns and crop varieties in
the study area. The timing of rainfall onset was very important in determining the farming
calendar for rain-fed system. In Central Division of Laikipia District, the late onset, decline
and unreliability of the March rainfall led to changes in planting dates from early March to
mid March and April. The late onsets (early season droughts) caused delays in planting thus
triggering unregulated planting and delays in weeding and harvesting dates. Delayed onset
of rainfall enhanced rural-urban migrations and also consumption of on-farm storage yields
meant for seeds. Interviews with crop farmers in Central Division revealed that planting
dates shifted from late February and early March in the 1970s and 1980s to early and mid
April in the late 1990s and 2000s. As Parry (1990) observes, with changes in climate, there
are likely to occur very many alterations to the timing of various farm operations such as
tillage, sowing, fertilizing, and pest and weed control because the timing of these operations
are dependent on prevailing climates. Shifts in farm operations in Central Division largely
affected the availability of labour and farm input resulting in reduced agricultural productivity.
Changes in Crop Varieties
Maize is the staple food for most Kenyans and is grown virtually throughout the country
except in the arid and the very arid climates, where it can only be planted only under irrigation.
In the eyes of the rural small-scale mixed farmers, lack of maize means hunger and famine.
However, maize crops are quite sensitive to droughts than other crop types especially in the
ASALs. To reduce the risk of food insecurity due to low maize production, the Kenya Agri-
cultural Research Institute (KARI) has over the years developed maize and other crop vari-
eties that survive relatively well in the ever changing climate. Droughts have led to the intro-
duction of early maturing crop varieties that evade droughts. In the 1970s and 1980s, farmers
67
JULIUS M. HUHO, EDWARD M. MUGALAVAI
in the Central Division grew the following maize varieties H511, H512, H614 and H625.
These varieties required higher amounts of rainfall and took long to mature (up to 8 months).
Increase in drought frequency and severity in the Division led to the introduction of new
maize varieties such as Dekalp 8031, 8053; Pioneer 30G19, 30V53, 30G97, 3253; Duma
41, 43, 53 and Western Seed Company 402 and 503 which had low water requirements and
were early maturing. Crop farmers stated that the new maize varieties were easily affected
by mid season droughts compared to the 5 and 6 series varieties. They argued that though
the new maize varieties matured faster, evading droughts, mid-season droughts caused crop
failure or very low yields. To farmers, these varieties were drought evaders but not drought
tolerant. Farmers also stated that the new crop varieties were easily attacked by pests, espe-
cially weevils, sometimes before harvesting. The storage time for these varieties was therefore,
limited. During periods of bumper harvest, farmers were forced to sell the yields due to
storage problems leaving little for household consumption that was often below their require-
ments through to the next harvest, a prerequisite for food insecurity. In addition, they stated
that the new maize varieties had lesser grain weight compared to those of series 5 and 6
varieties. More grains were required to make a 90kg bag, which was the standard measure
for market sale. To meet other needs farmers were therefore, forced to sell more of the har-
vested maize, reducing their food bank.
Loss of Livestock
Livestock production is a major economic and social activity for the communities living in
the ASALs of Kenya. Within the ASALs, livestock accounts for nearly 90% of the employ-
ment opportunities and 95% of family incomes. Their diet is mainly milk and meat (GoK,
2004). However, droughts pose major constraints to livestock production. A good example
was the 2008-2009 drought that put at risk a total of 3.3 million cattle, 16 million sheep and
goats and 10,000 camels affecting 524,000 thousand households in the ASALs (Administrator,
2009). Like in most parts of the ASALs, loss of livestock in Mukogodo Division was largely
caused by starvation. Drought diminished the quantity and quality of pasture in the Mukogodo
rangelands forcing pastoralists to migrate. Frequent and extremely severe droughts in the
Division had led to replacement of perennial grasses with the annuals and the encroachment
of non-palatable plant species such as “oldupai” (Sansavellia sp) and prickly pear (Opuntia
megacantha), which do not co-exist with grass (Huho et al., 2009; Huho et al., 2010). Very
poor livestock body conditions were common during droughts eventually leading to deaths.
Table 2 shows the estimated number of livestock lost during prolonged droughts. Massive
loss of livestock caused food shortages in the Division, forcing pastoralists to entirely depend
on relief food. The slow recovery from drought shocks made Mukogodo Division to be
placed under the emergency operation programme (EMOP). EMOP aimed at saving lives,
preventing high levels of acute malnutrition, and preserving livelihoods in ASALs and in
urban slums. In efforts to save lives and prevent acute malnutrition, feeding programmes
were introduced in schools and they are still operational to date.
68
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
Table 2: Estimated Number of Livestock Lost During Prolonged Droughts in Mukogodo
Division
Number of Livestock LostDrought Severity IndexDrought Event
GoatsSheepCattle
726266675738-2.761983-1985
840093008800-6.491991-1996
697064605300-2.541999-2000
(Source: Huho et al., 2010).
Changes in Livestock Composition
Cattle were the most valued livestock by the Mukogodo Maasai pastoralists because of their
role in provision of food (milk), payment of dowry and as a sign of wealth. Droughts in
ASAL have resulted in reduction of vegetation cover, biomass productivity, carrying capacity
of rangelands and loss of valuable forage species that livestock depend on (Awuor, 1997;
Williams and Balling, 1996). The replacement of perennials with annual grasses and the
spread of non-palatable plants in Mukogodo Division (Huho et al., 2009; Huho et al., 2010)
led to a decline in the number of grazers (cattle and sheep) and an increase in the browsers,
goats, camels and donkeys. For example, during the 1992-93 and 1999-2000 droughts in the
Division cattle numbers recorded a -12% and -17.9% growth rates respectively (Kairu, 2002).
The reduction in cattle numbers, which was the main source of food (milk), caused food
shortages the Division leading to an increase in malnutrition cases among children. For ex-
ample, during the year 2000 drought, the number of children suffering from malnutrition
diseases at Doldol health centre in Mukogodo Division increased by 18.5% from 14.8%
during the 1999 mild drought to 33.3% during the 2000 extreme drought.
Drought Coping Strategies: Are they Sustainable Today?
Farmers in ASALs have evolved a lifestyle that enables them live in harsh environments.
Among the pastoralists, moving of livestock to areas where pasture and water is available
is the key coping strategy against drought. Other drought coping strategies included: increas-
ing the numbers of livestock by restricting commercial sales or slaughtering, allowing the
herd to increase when climates are favourable; distributing livestock among friends and rel-
atives in different ecological zones to avoid the loss of entire stock; keeping stock of mixed
species and feeding requirements such as a mixture of grazers and browsers; separating
livestock into grazers and browsers during drought in order to exploit different microhabitats
and keeping of indigenous stock species better adapted to tolerate drought conditions. Cattle
raiding is one of the methods of restocking a herd after the drought. Among the crop farmers,
diversication of crops has been the major coping strategy against the effects of drought.
Since drought affects different crop species differently, farmers intercrop different types of
crop hoping to get some harvest from one of the planted crops, which will be less affected
by drought. Cultivating larger portions of land in order to compensate for low yields and
use of small-scale irrigation to enhance their agricultural productivity are other drought
coping strategies. Keeping of small herds of livestock, such as cattle, sheep, goats and poultry,
69
JULIUS M. HUHO, EDWARD M. MUGALAVAI
alongside crop farming is also practiced to ensure continuation of food availability from
animals when there is a crop failure.
The most common drought-coping strategy among the pastoralist in the study area and
other ASALs was moving with animals from dry to relatively wetter areas in search of pasture
and water. However, encroachment of the rangelands, especially in wetter areas such as
swamps and along the rivers, by the agro-pastoralists have reduced grazing areas preserved
for the dry spells. Replacement of the perennial with annual grasses and the spread of non-
palatable plant species have further reduced the carrying capacity of the rangelands. The
traditional migratory routes have been converted into arable lands leaving very narrow cor-
ridors for the migration. The consequences have been reduction in the number of livestock
owned by the pastoralists. Reduced dry season grazing elds have forced pastoralists to
move their livestock to higher lands such as Mount Kenya and Aberdare forest reserves
during severe droughts. However, the cold weather condition, unfavourable for dryland
livestock, has been the cause of more deaths. A case in point is the 2009 drought where
thousands of livestock died in Mt. Kenya forest reserve not because of lack of pasture and
water but due unfavourable cold weather.
Changes in crop varieties have been adopted by the crop farmers in the ASALs of Kenya.
However, farmers’ perceptions that the new maize varieties were easily attacked by pests,
have shorter storage time and are less in weight have led some farmers to revert to the former
species despite their vulnerability to droughts. The study revealed that most farmers were
pessimistic about the new varieties and had dedicated some portion of their land to the old
crop varieties despite high rates of crop failures during droughts. Farmers only chanced for
better harvest. In the eyes of the farmers, the new maize varieties were suitable in eradicating
food insecurity for the rst three seasons after which they cease to be productive. Land
fragmentation due to increasing population has reduced the viability of mixed cropping,
forcing farmers to reduce the number of crops grown on a single plot. The study observed
that the sustainability of the drought coping strategies in ASALs is threatened in part by both
increase in drought severity and increase in human population.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Drought has increased in frequency and severity in the last three decades with the number
of people affected increasing exponentially. Agriculture has been the most affected sector
leading to food insecurity especially in ASALs. As climate continues to change the most
vulnerable population will continue to suffer from chronic food shortage. More and more
out migrations from arid lands will be expected, which will in turn jeopardize agricultural
production in ASAL environment. The coping strategies employed are quickly becoming
unsustainable and increasing the number of people vulnerable to food insecurity. With increase
in drought frequency and severity, most of the Kenyan populace will live under chronic food
shortages. Therefore, it is important for the government to be fully involved in the improve-
ment of the rain-fed agricultural enterprises both in ASALs and humid areas. This is attainable
through supplemental irrigation, a strategy that is fast emerging in food production regions
of the world.
70
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
References
Administrator (2009) Brief on livestock offtake. Ministry of livestock development, Nairobi.
Awuor, V.O. (1997) Effects of climate change in Kenya. In potential impact of Climate change in
Kenya. ACTS, Nairobi
Ayoti O. (2008) Kenya has no policy on drought, Minister confesses. Available: http://desertica-
tion.wordpress.Com/2008/05/29/kenya-has-no-policy-on-drought-google-africa-science-
news-service/
Biamah, E.K. (2005) Coping with drought: Options for soil and water management in semi arid Kenya.
Ph.D. thesis, Wageningen Agricultural University (The Netherlands).
Downing, T. E., Mungai, D. N. and Muturi, H. R. (1985) Drought Climatology of Central and Eastern
Kenya. In Climate Variability and Agricultural Production in Central and Eastern Kenya.
Ministry of environment and natural resources. October 1985, Nairobi.
Fahmey, S. H. (1992) Effect of previous drought event on the Nile River yields. In climate uctuations
and water management. Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd, Oxford. Abu-Zed, M. A. and Biswas,
A. K. (eds).
Glantz, M. H. (1987) drought and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Glantz, M. H.
(ed) Drought and hunger in Africa. Cambridge University Press. Pp 37-58
GoK (1991) The Study on national water master plan. Ministry of water development, interim report,
Aug 1991
GoK (2002) National development plan 2002-2008. Government printers, Nairobi.
GoK (2004) Draft national policy for the sustainable development of arid and semi arid lands of Kenya.
Government printers, Nairobi
GoK (2005) Nutrition status in Laikipia District for 1992 – 2001. Unpublished document.
GoK (2007) National policy for the sustainable development of arid and semi arid lands of Kenya.
Heathcote, R. L. (1996) Settlement advance and retreat: A century of experience on the Eyre Peninsula
of South Australia. In climate variability, climate change and social vulnerability in the
tropics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Ribot, J. C. et al 1996 (eds).
Huho J. M, Ngaira, J. K. W. and Ogindo, H. O. (2010) Drought severity and their effects on rural
livelihoods in Laikipia District, Kenya. Jurnal of geography and regional planning, Vol 3
(3), March 2010
Huho J. M, Ngaira, J. K. W. and Ogindo, H. O. (2009) Climate change and pastoral economy in Kenya:
A blinking future. Acta Geologica Sinica, English edition, Vol 83 issue 5. October, 2009.
Kairu, E. (2002) Poverty, Target groups and governance environment in Laikipia District. A report
for SARDEP. SARDEP, Nairobi.
Kinyua J (2004) Towards achieving food security in Kenya. In assuring food and nutrition security in
Africa by 2020: Prioritizing action, strengthening actors, and facilitating partnerships. Con-
ference proceedings. IFPRI, Kampala,
Kohler, T. (1985) Salient features of small-scale farming in eastern Laikipia. Laikipia research pro-
gramme, Oct, 1985
KRCS (2005) Kenya drought. In information bulletin of Kenya Red Cross Society December, 2005.
Muchemi, S. W. (2005) Adaptation lessons learnt in Kenya on climate variability and change. Kenya
Meteorological Department, Nairobi.
Murungaru, C. (2003) Opening statement by the Minister of State, Ofce of the president republic of
Kenya during the Second conference on early warning systems. Available: www.unis-
dr.org/ppew/info/Opening-Statement_Murungaru.doc
Ngaira, J. K. W. (2004) Basic facts in contemporary climatology. Lake Publishers and Enterprises,
Kisumu.
Ngaira, J. K. W. (2005) Hydrometeorological disasters and their impact on development: The Kenya
experience. Maseno Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences. Vol 5 no 1.
71
JULIUS M. HUHO, EDWARD M. MUGALAVAI
OCHA (2009) Kenya humanitarian situation. United Nations Ofce for the Coordination of Humanit-
arian Affairs –KENYA, October 2009.
O’Hare, G. and Sweeney, J. (1986) The atmospheric system. Conceptual framework in Geography.
Oliver and Byod, Harlow.
Oxfam (2006) Delivering the agenda: Addressing chronic under development in Kenya’s arid lands.
Oxfam brieng paper, May 2006.
Panturat, S. and Eddy, A. (1992) The impact of climate change on rice variety selection in Thailand.
In Schmidt, J. and Clarkson, J. (eds) The regions and global warming: Impacts and response
strategies. Oxford University Press, New York.
Parry M. L. et al (1990) Agriculture and forestry, in climate change: The IPCC impact assessment.
Australian Government Publishing Service, Camberra.
Pickering, K. T. and Owen, L. A. (1994) An introduction to global environmental issues. Routeledge,
Newyork.
Ribot, J. C., Najam, A. and Watson, G. (1996) Climate variation, vulnerability and sustainable devel-
opment in the semi arid Tropics. In Ribot J. C., Magalheas, A. R., and Penagide, S. S. (eds)
Climate variability, climate change and social vulnerability in the Tropics. Cambridge Uni-
versity Press, Cambridge.
Tiffen, M. (1995) Desertication, drought and development in Sahel. In Binns, T. (ed) people and
environment in Africa. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester.
UNDP (2005) Kenya natural disaster prole. UNDP, Nairobi
UNDP (2007) Kenya natural disaster prole. Available: http://mirror.
undp.org/kenya/KenyaDisasterProle.pdf
UNEP (2000) Devastating drought in Kenya: Environmental impact and assessment. UNEP, Nairobi.
UNEP (2007) Preparing for climate change in eastern and southern Africa: Kenya reducing vulnerab-
ility to drought. Available: http://www.
iisd.org/pdf/2007/prepare_climate.pdf
Williams, M. A. J. and Balling, R. C. (1996) Interaction of desertication and climate. Anold, London.
About the Authors
Julius M. Huho
Maseno University, Kenya
Edward M. Mugalavai
Maseno University, Kenya
72
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATE CHANGE: IMPACTS AND
RESPONSES
EDITORS
Amareswar Galla, The University of Queensland, Australia.
Bill Cope, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA.
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Viraal Balsari, Vice President, ABN Amro Bank, Mumbai, India.
Erach Bharucha, Bharati Vidyapeeth Univeristy, Pune, India.
Tapan Chakrabarti, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, India.
Thomas Krafft, Geomed Research Corporation, Bad Honnef, Germany.
Shamita Kumar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Univeristy, Pune, India.
R. Mehta, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, India.
Kranti Yardi, Bharati Vidyapeeth Univeristy, Pune, India.
Please visit the Journal website at http://www.Climate-Journal.com
for further information about the Journal or to subscribe.
THE UNIVERSITY PRESS JOURNALS
www.Arts-Journal.com
www.Book-Journal.com
www.Climate-Journal.com
www.ConstructedEnvironment.com
www.Design-Journal.com
www.Diversity-Journal.com
www.GlobalStudiesJournal.com
www.Humanities-Journal.com
www.OnTheImage.com
www.Learning-Journal.com
www.Management-Journal.com
www.Museum-Journal.com
www.ReligionInSociety.com
www.Science-Society.com
http://www.SocialSciences-Journal.com
www.SpacesAndFlows.com
www.SportAndSociety.com
www.Sustainability-Journal.com
www.Technology-Journal.com
www.ULJournal.com
www.Universities-Journal.com
FOR SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
subscriptions@commongroundpublishing.com
... The results indicated that droughts, bushfires, floods and dry hot conditions are yearly phenomena. The finding on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes are similar to findings in earlier studies ( Yaduvanshi et al., 2021;Parker et al., 2019 ;Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). The study of on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes in Ghana found that drought, floods, sunshine and bushfires are annual climatic events with serious implication for food crops farming and agricultural systems. ...
... The assessment further shows that maize and sorghum are more exposed to bushfires while maize and rice are more vulnerable to floods. Earlier studies have found that climate extreme conditions which food crops have been exposed to include drought, flood, bush fires and sunshine ( Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). ...
... Derbile et al. (2016) study on the double tragedy of agriculture vulnerability to climate variability in Ghana found that climate change has resulted in poor crop yield through yearly variation in the climate system with severe food consumption implication on households. Huho and Mugalavai (2010) also reported that drought and flood have affected the cropping system with hard implication for agriculture, food security, and sustainable development. Krishnamurthy et al. (2014) study on a methodological framework for rapidly assessing the impacts of climate risk on national-level food security through vulnerability index found that there exists a high correlation between hunger and climate risk, especially for the regions of the world most affected by food insecurity. ...
... The results indicated that droughts, bushfires, floods and dry hot conditions are yearly phenomena. The finding on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes are similar to findings in earlier studies ( Yaduvanshi et al., 2021;Parker et al., 2019 ;Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). The study of on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes in Ghana found that drought, floods, sunshine and bushfires are annual climatic events with serious implication for food crops farming and agricultural systems. ...
... The assessment further shows that maize and sorghum are more exposed to bushfires while maize and rice are more vulnerable to floods. Earlier studies have found that climate extreme conditions which food crops have been exposed to include drought, flood, bush fires and sunshine ( Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). ...
... Derbile et al. (2016) study on the double tragedy of agriculture vulnerability to climate variability in Ghana found that climate change has resulted in poor crop yield through yearly variation in the climate system with severe food consumption implication on households. Huho and Mugalavai (2010) also reported that drought and flood have affected the cropping system with hard implication for agriculture, food security, and sustainable development. Krishnamurthy et al. (2014) study on a methodological framework for rapidly assessing the impacts of climate risk on national-level food security through vulnerability index found that there exists a high correlation between hunger and climate risk, especially for the regions of the world most affected by food insecurity. ...
... The results indicated that droughts, bushfires, floods and dry hot conditions are yearly phenomena. The finding on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes are similar to findings in earlier studies ( Yaduvanshi et al., 2021;Parker et al., 2019 ;Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). The study of on the occurrence and severity of climate extremes in Ghana found that drought, floods, sunshine and bushfires are annual climatic events with serious implication for food crops farming and agricultural systems. ...
... The assessment further shows that maize and sorghum are more exposed to bushfires while maize and rice are more vulnerable to floods. Earlier studies have found that climate extreme conditions which food crops have been exposed to include drought, flood, bush fires and sunshine ( Huho & Mugalavai, 2010;Derbile et al., 2016 ;Omoyo et al., 2015 ). ...
... Derbile et al. (2016) study on the double tragedy of agriculture vulnerability to climate variability in Ghana found that climate change has resulted in poor crop yield through yearly variation in the climate system with severe food consumption implication on households. Huho and Mugalavai (2010) also reported that drought and flood have affected the cropping system with hard implication for agriculture, food security, and sustainable development. Krishnamurthy et al. (2014) study on a methodological framework for rapidly assessing the impacts of climate risk on national-level food security through vulnerability index found that there exists a high correlation between hunger and climate risk, especially for the regions of the world most affected by food insecurity. ...
... About 80% of Kenya's population live in rural areas and most of them are dependent on agriculture for a large part of their livelihood. However, the emerging adverse effects of climate change have in the recent past led to massive crop failures especially in the ASALs (Huho and Mugalavai, 2010;Ochieng et al. 2016;Nyawade et al. 2020). Approximately 84% of the country is arid or semi-arid (ASAL) and is not suitable for rain-fed farming due to low and erratic rainfall, though there is limited cultivation of some crops (GoK, 2010). ...
... Between 2000 and 2005, the Kenya government spent about £40-60 million annually on famine relief with NGOs spending an equivalent amount. As climate change continues to unfold, the frequency of climate extremes such as severe droughts and floods is expected to increase (Huho and Mugalavai 2010). The major constraint to crop productivity in the semi-arid regions is inadequate, unreliable, and poorly distributed rainfall (Nikus et al. 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Farm Yard Manure (FYM), mineral fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus), and their combination on the production of Gadam sorghum in a Kenya Semi-arid region of Makueni and Machakos counties. The first experiment evaluated the response of sorghum to N and P application at four levels (0, 25, 50, 75 kg ha-1) whereas the second evaluated the response of sorghum to the combined application of FYM (0, 5, and 10 tons ha-1) and N and P fertilizer (0 and 50 kg ha-1). Nitrogen application enhanced sorghum yields more than phosphorus addition. Combining N at 75 kg ha-1 and P at 50 kg ha-1 gave the highest sorghum grain yield in Kampi ya Mawe which was 135% higher than the control. In Katumani, combining 50 kg ha-1 N and 25 kg ha-1 P gave the highest mean grain yield, which was 68.3% more than the untreated control.
... About 80% of Kenya's population live in rural areas and most of them are dependent on agriculture for a large part of their livelihood. However, the emerging adverse effects of climate change have in the recent past led to massive crop failures especially in the ASALs (Huho and Mugalavai, 2010;Ochieng et al. 2016;Nyawade et al. 2020). Approximately 84% of the country is arid or semi-arid (ASAL) and is not suitable for rain-fed farming due to low and erratic rainfall, though there is limited cultivation of some crops (GoK, 2010). ...
... Between 2000 and 2005, the Kenya government spent about £40-60 million annually on famine relief with NGOs spending an equivalent amount. As climate change continues to unfold, the frequency of climate extremes such as severe droughts and floods is expected to increase (Huho and Mugalavai 2010). The major constraint to crop productivity in the semi-arid regions is inadequate, unreliable, and poorly distributed rainfall (Nikus et al. 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of Farm Yard Manure (FYM), mineral fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus), and their combination on the production of Gadam sorghum in a Kenya Semi-arid region of Makueni and Machakos counties. The first experiment evaluated the response of sorghum to N and P application at four levels (0, 25, 50, 75 kg ha-1) whereas the second evaluated the response of sorghum to the combined application of FYM (0, 5, and 10 tons ha-1) and N and P fertilizer (0 and 50 kg ha-1). Nitrogen application enhanced sorghum yields more than phosphorus addition. Combining N at 75 kg ha-1 and P at 50 kg ha-1 gave the highest sorghum grain yield in Kampi ya Mawe which was 135% higher than the control. In Katumani, combining 50 kg ha-1 N and 25 kg ha-1 P gave the highest mean grain yield, which was 68.3% more than the untreated control.
... is study found that furrow-ridge mulched with 3 t·ha −1 plant residue increased green gram growth and yields under arid and semiarid conditions. erefore, the combination of furrow-ridge and 3 t·ha −1 plant residue can be recommended for increased green gram yield in a waterstressed environment [42][43][44][45][46][47][48]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Conservation tillage is regarded as the best practice for crop production in drylands. However, their effect on the green gram (Vigna radiata (L) Wilczek) has not been much documented in ASALs of Kenya. A field study was conducted during the 2018-2019 short rains with the aim of evaluating the effect of tillage methods and mulch application on the growth and yield of two green gram varieties in Katumani and Mwea. A randomized complete block design (RCBD) with a split-slit plot arrangement and three replicates was used. The main plots were tillage methods zero tillage (ZT), furrow-ridge (FR), and conventional tillage (CT). Subplots were mulched plots with plant residue (3 t·ha⁻¹) and plots without mulch applied (0 t·ha⁻¹) and in the sub-subplots were two green gram varieties (N26 and KS20). Data was collected on plant height, number of primary branches, root biomass, shoot biomass, number of pods per plant, number of seeds per pod, 1000 seed weight, grain weight (t·ha¹), and harvest index. Data was subjected to the general analysis of variance using GenStat 15th statistical software. Mean separation was calculated using the least significant difference LSD at a 5% probability level. Results showed that tillage methods and mulch application significantly affected growth, yield, and yield component. Furrow-ridge recorded superior effects ahead of zero tillage and conventional tillage. Mulch application had significant effects on growth, yield, and yield component. Variety N26 under the treatment of furrow-ridge mulched with 3 t·ha⁻¹ had a greater number of branches, plant height, yield, and yield components in both experiment sites. The application of mulch had a positive impact on growth, yield, and yield component. Furrow-ridge and zero tillage with mulch emerged to be the most efficient techniques for better green gram yield in Katumani and Mwea. This can be recommended for increased crop production in areas that receive insufficient rainfall.
... Households feel that food security is mostly affected, and this is linked to drought. Drought is a major cause of food insecurity in Kenya as the country experiences severe drought every 4-5 years 4 (Huho et al. 2010). Respondents mainly associated climate change with changing rainfall patterns including distribution, and cessation. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The increased frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events associated with climate change will significantly affect developing countries whose economies are still struggling to raise their population's living standards and alleviate poverty. The intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) in its reports has emphasized the need to build the resilience of economies, societies, and populations since the impacts of climate change have outpaced the mitigation efforts that have been put in place. In 2020, Kenya updated her Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and these are expected to be implemented through sub-national/ county climate action plans. Subnational/Counties are closer to the people and are strategically placed to develop and implement climate mitigation and adaptation action plans that align to the needs of the local communities- who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The GIZ, through ICLEI Africa, commissioned technical support for the development of the “Adaptation” pillar of the Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plan (SEACAP) for the county government of Nakuru, Kenya. The SEACAP is an initiative facilitated by the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) - a regional pillar of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM). ICLEI Africa and GIZ lead the SEACAP implementation in Nakuru Couny to support local authorities such as Nakuru County in tackling the interconnected challenges of climate change and access to sustainable energy. This report outlines a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RV&A) for Nakuru County upon which strategic and realistic adaptation action planning will be based. The report is based on a triangulation of primary and secondary data collection and data collection and consultative engagements with the county, national governments, NGOs, and local communities. Based on the Joint Research Centre guidelines, the study focused on identifying and ranking climatic hazards and third risks to people, sectors, and services. The data collection involved an initial inception and scanning secondary databases, analysis of national and county level policies to identify available data and develop a contextual understanding of Nakuru county’s climate change experiences including impacts, trends, and adaptation. The desk reviews were triangulated with primary data collected where 400 households (total, 56 percent of men and 44 percent of women) across the 11 sub-counties were interviewed to understand climate impacts and adaptation needs. The data was then used to develop a risk and vulnerability outlook which forms the basis for climate change action planning for the county.
Article
Although climate change impact on agriculture and cropping systems have been extensively researched in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), crop specific vulnerability assessment to specific climate change induced extremes has been least explored and limited. Therefore, this study, conducted in the Upper West Region of Ghana, assessed the crop specific vulnerability to climate change induced extremes and the implications for climate change adaptation planning. A mixed study design involving a survey of 540 crop farmers and 24 Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted across twelve (12) rural communities for data collection and analysis. The results showed that although farmers were vulnerable to multiple climatic extremes, drought was the most frequently occurring and negatively impacting extreme event that impacted crop production negatively. This was followed by high sunshine and/or temperatures affecting crops. The results further revealed that maize and rice were the most sensitive and vulnerable crops to drought while all crops studied, maize, rice, millet, guinea corn, yam and soya beans were significantly sensitive and vulnerable to extreme sunshine and temperatures. To reduce vulnerability to climate extremes, especially, drought, it is imperative that efforts at climate change adaptation planning should promote Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) if rural livelihoods that largely depend on the smallholder crop sector are to be sustained in rural Ghana and SSA at large.
Article
Food insecurity exacerbates malnutrition with irreversible consequences for children. Thus, we address the determinants of food security status with reference to women farmers, the determinants of access to irrigation technology as a critical determinant of food security and the effect of cooperatives on nutritional status. We used primary data from Kakamega, Kenya. Descriptive data analysis was applied together with regression analysis using logistic, probit and linear endogenous treatment models. Cooperative membership facilitates female farmers’ access to productive resources like credit, thereby contributing to improved food security status. Though most female farmers are not members of cooperatives, the female members of cooperatives perform slightly better as determinants of food security status and are more food secure than female non-members. The limitations of cooperatives include the low percentage of farmers using irrigation and farmers’ low nutritional status. Extension services positively impact irrigation, thereby calling for gender equality among field officers to enable communication with female farmers and for the formation of cooperatives that target women's needs. Governments, development agencies and civil societies should support cooperatives in their financial, technical and management issues to create awareness concerning family planning and offer access to credit and irrigation technology, resulting in increased food production, improved food security and nutrition status.
Chapter
Climate change is a growing challenge to socio-economic development and sustainable environmental management worldwide. Developing countries with low adaptive capacity and high vulnerability to the phenomena are affected severely. This study assessed the climate change situation in a developing country, its effects on the water sector and adaptive responses to improve climate change resilience using Kenya as a case study. Findings showed that Kenya is experiencing temperature and rainfall rises currently, and future projections showed an even worse situation. Climate variability and change however differed based on time and space. Highlighted effects on the water sector included fluctuations in its quantities and deterioration of its quality. Adaptive responses such as infrastructural modifications of water body environments, forecasting using models to predict climate change uncertainties and disseminating early warnings are discussed. Their success relies on strong policy and institutions to steer their implementation in Kenya.
Book
Full-text available
The changing climate in the Netherlands is seen in, for example, the rising sea level, the increase in discharge of rivers and the response of nature to temperature changes. Although the observed effects in the Netherlands are limited without having led to serious problems for the country, climate change and its effects are expected to accelerate over the next few decades and persist for a considerable length of time. The second half of the century may see serious problems arising from climate change, in particular in the low-lying areas of the country. A sea level rise of several to many metres is expected in the very long term (a few hundred years). It is questionable whether conventional techniques can be used to maintain the current level of safety. Greater effort will also be required to uphold this safety level due to the additional problems of possible increase in discharge from the rivers Rhine and Meuse and further land subsidence. Climate The average temperature will almost certainly further increase (1 to 6°C in 100 years). Dry and extremely warm summers (as in 2003) will be more frequent; the probability of extremely cold winters will decrease, although the famous 'Eleven Cities' skating tour may take place occasionally. Heavy rainfalls may also increase in frequency. Water River discharge is likely to increase considerably due to more extreme temperatures and precipitation events. As a result, safety will be at stake and river discharges excessive in the low-lying regions in the Netherlands by the end of the century. Nature The rate at which the temperature rises will probably be too high to enable many species to adapt or migrate. Several plant and animal species are threatened with extinction in the Netherlands, whereas new species will settle if they can migrate quickly enough. The net effect will probably be a decrease in species diversity in the Netherlands. Economic losses The agricultural and tourism sectors will undergo changes that could be both positive and negative from an economic point of view. This will depend partly on developments elsewhere in Europe. There are signs that agricultural damage risks (water logging, droughts and insects) are increasing. Cooling-water problems and limitations on navigation (as in the summer of 2003) will increase if water management does not improve. Public health Temperature rise caused by climate change may have a direct negative influence on human health in the Netherlands. Possible effects of climate change are: problems due to heat stress, an increasing spread of Lyme disease, poor air quality (summer smog) and an increase in allergies. Risk groups in the population (such as the elderly, children or people with asthma) could experience greater effects (e.g. a greater disease burden). Measures To respond adequately to these projected influences, climate change has, to a certain extent, already been taken into account in various policies in the Netherlands. Water management policy, for example, now seriously considers climate change by taking technical and spatial planning measures. Technical measures include raising the height of dykes, expanding the capacity of pumping stations and intensifying beach nourishment to maintain sand levels along the coast. Spatial planning measures include accommodating flood storage areas.
Article
Full-text available
Over 80% of Kenya land mass fall under arid and semi arid lands (ASAL), which are prone to frequent droughts. About one third of Kenya’s population lives in the ASAL and largely depends on rain-fed agriculture as their source of livelihoods. However, most of the agricultural activities are constrained by recurrent droughts. To analyse the effects of droughts on rural livelihoods, this study was carried out in the semi arid Central and Mukogodo divisions of Laikipia district, Kenya for the period between 1975 and 2008. Standardized precipitation index was used to quantify drought severity. Rural livelihood data was obtained through interviews and questionnaires. Correlation coefficient was used to test the association between drought severity and crop production and livestock losses. Four categories of drought namely mild, moderate, severe and extreme droughts were identified. Over 70% of the droughts in the study area occurred in runs. The study established that as drought increased in severity more rural livelihood were disrupted causing high dependency of relief aid. As a result, farmers ventured into charcoal burning, illegal logging and sand harvesting as alternative livelihoods sources exacerbating desertification. The study concludes that farmers’ resilience to drought lessens with increase drought severity.
Article
Full-text available
The present paper examines the changing climatic scenarios and associated effects on livestock farming (pastoralism) in the arid and semi arid lands (ASAL) of Kenya, which cover over 80% of the country. The study was carried out in the semi arid Mukogodo Division of Laikipia District in Kenya. This division received a mean annual rainfall of approximately 507.8 mm and the main source of livelihood was pastoralism. Questionnaire, structured interview, observation and literature review were the main methods of data collection. Rainfall was used in delineating changes in climate. Standardized precipitation index (SPI) and Markov process were used in analyzing drought severity and persistence, respectively. Approximately 38% of all droughts between 1975 and 2005 were prolonged and extremely severe, with cumulative severity indices ranging between −2.54 and −6.49. The probability that normal climatic conditions persisted for two or more consecutive years in Mukogodo Division remained constant at approximately 52%. However, the probability of wet years persisting for two or more years showed a declining trend, while persistence of dry years increased with duration. A drying climatic trend was established. This drying trend in the area led to increased land degradation and encroachment of invasive nonpalatable bushes. The net effect on pastoralism was large-scale livestock loss through starvation, disease and cattle rustling. Proper drought monitoring and accurate forecasts, community participation in all government interventions, infrastructural development in the ASAL and allocation of adequate resources for livestock development are some of the measures necessary for mitigating the dwindling pastoral economy in Kenya and other parts of the world.
Article
In recent years there has been an increased awareness of global environmental issues: this book sets out to provide a critical introduction to the subject, aimed at provoking debate and action. It begins by stating the need to understand the world better and outlines the Earth's natural systems and processes. The evidence is then presented for past changes in global climate. In subsequent chapters the world's major environmental concerns, including the effets on and of human activity, are explored; issues covered include atmospheric ozone depletion, emissions of greenhouse gases, acid rain, water resources and pollution, nuclear technology, energy resources and production, natural hazards and human impact on the Earth's surface. The final chapter examines ways in which the Earth is managed, including a look at topics such as population growth, agroeconomic problems the rise of the consumer society, the concept of "sustainable development' and atmospheric pollution. The authors conclude by presenting their own "manifesto' for the management of the Earth. Key points are included at the end of each chapter and issues for discussion are provided at the end of the main text. -V.J.Taverner
Article
Seeks to remind those concerned with economic development issues how drought can, and often does, affect the process of development in sub-Saharan Africa. Reviews African climate since independence, the climate and development literature, perceptions of drought and development. -C.Barrow (CDS)
Article
Thesis (doctoral)--Wageningen Universiteit, 2005. Vita. "Propositions" ([1] leaf) inserted. Includes bibliographical references.
Towards achieving food security in Kenya In assuring food and nutrition security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing action, strengthening actors, and facilitating partnerships Salient features of small-scale farming in eastern Laikipia
  • J Kinyua
  • Kampala
  • T Kohler
Kinyua J (2004) Towards achieving food security in Kenya. In assuring food and nutrition security in Africa by 2020: Prioritizing action, strengthening actors, and facilitating partnerships. Conference proceedings. IFPRI, Kampala, Kohler, T. (1985) Salient features of small-scale farming in eastern Laikipia. Laikipia research programme, Oct, 1985