Adaptation to Climate Change in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (KACCAL)

What is the project about

INTODUCTION

Climate-related hazards are a serious threat to Kenya’s development. Agriculture, the mainstay of the Kenyan economy, is predominantly rain-fed, making it highly vulnerable to climate change.  Droughts are the most common disasters affecting Kenya.  The majority of the major shortfalls in food supply recorded have been associated with rainfall deficits.   The recurrence and intensity of droughts has increased in Kenya, particularly affecting the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs), which now experience droughts almost on an annual basis.  The country often has food deficits as a result of periodic droughts and low access to production resources.  In the ASALs, about 2 million people are permanently on famine relief, with the number rising up to 5 million during severe droughts.  Acute malnutrition rates are experienced by over 15 percent in children under five. Kenya has a population estimated at 38.6 million (2009). 80% of Kenya is classed as ASALs, and these areas are home to approximately 30% (~12 million) of Kenya’s people, 50% of its livestock, and 75% of wildlife.

Mwingi District is located in the Eastern Province of Kenya. It is one of sixty (60) districts in the Eastern Province, with a population of 384,948 (2009 population census), and a population growth rate of 2.4 per cent.  Poverty levels in Mwingi are high at over 58% (Mwingi District Development Plan 2008-2012) of the population living below the poverty line of less than US$1 a day. The district experienced poor rainfall from early 2004, and a total crop failure for the main crop of maize, sorghum, millet, beans and peas in the 2005/2006 short rains season. Most rivers are dry through most of the year, water levels in the shallow wells dug near streams either gets significantly low or dry up during the dry periods, and there is limited intensive land use.  The population also has to walk long distances in search for water for both domestic use and livestock watering.

The objective of the “Kenya-Adaptation to Climate Change in Arid Lands” (KACCAL) project is to increase the capacity of communities in Mwingi District to adapt to climate variability and change. It will achieve this through three Outcomes:

  1. Enhanced awareness of national and regional stakeholders to plan, manage and implement climate change adaptation measures in arid and semi-arid lands.
  2. Enhanced capacity of district and local level stakeholders to plan, manage and implement climate change adaptation measures
  3. Enhanced communities’ ability to plan, manage and implement climate-related activitiesKACCAL is a $1 million, three year project, supported by the Special Climate Change Fund (UNFCCC) that has recently begun implementation. Thus project seeks to develop and pilot a range of coping mechanisms for reducing the vulnerability of small-holder farmers in Mwingi to climate change. The project takes cognizance of existing indigenous activities/measures used by local communities to cope with the adverse effects of climate change.

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