OUR FORESTS ARE NOT FOR SETTLING SCORES

Image


In Kenya, conservation of forests remains to be an emotive and politicized issue. It sparks brawls from different sectors whenever the subject comes to the fore. A look at the five water catchments (which provide 75% of the country’s water resource) in Kenya will tell tales of misguided priorities, misguided interventions and falsified information all aimed at ensuring that individuals continue benefiting from these resources at the expense of the ecosystem. Mau Forest Complex has hit headlines recently; illegal settlements, uncontrolled and illegal logging, conversion of forest land for farming have continued to be reported .....Read more

Water Use Innovations in Farming for Climate Change Adaptation

Image


Scarcity is the mother of invention so goes e the old adage. This saying befits the changing farming pattern with changes in weather. Joseph Asutai is one person in Soroti district –Eastern Uganda with a passion for farming amidst the changing climate. His  passion for farming  since 2014 become a reality when he found 72 acres of farming land close to a water supply source in  Awoja River; a  tributary of Lake Kyoga in Eastern Uganda.....Read more

Adapting to the Changing Climate through Climate Smart Farming Practices

Image


A shift towards having climate smart techniques is seen as a system that could enable food sustainability and provide a set of farmer friendly productive solutions hence resulting to climate resilience. For a period of 6years, community farmer groups in North East Kano Location in Kisumu County have been fully empowered by CREP-Program which is agriculture and environmental conservation based Kenyan NGO. The farmer groups are now realizing economic gains through significant improvements in safe crop production systems, food security, family nutrition, health and education within their households... Read More

Impacts of Climate Change on Bee Keeping Farmers - Makueni Country Kenya

Image


Makueni County is one of the climate vulnerable counties in Kenya. It is commonly comprised of agro-pastoral community, and is characterized by high population density with majority of the communities being predisposed to the negative effects of a changing climate. The changing climatic conditions have resulted in frequent and intense droughts, that subsequently has led to lack of adequate water, insufficient food, increased incidences of opportunistic diseases, increased insecurity, water resources related conflicts, reduced incomes among the households, and these are key factors that have increased vulnerability and reduced the resilience of the County to changing climatic conditions. In response to food insecurity..... Read More

Agriculture in the Face of Climate Change

Image



In Kilifi County, as most of the country, rain-fed agriculture is the predominant form of farming and only 2% of the farmers use irrigation water. Small-scale farming is the predominant production system, and farms average about 3 ha (small scale) to 8 ha (large scale). Food insecurity, characterized by a limited availability of food, infrequent eating, and low food diversity, is high in the County affecting 98% of the households.
 
In the past, when weather patterns were more predictable, the county’s farmers would indulge in cassava, cotton, maize, sesame seeds, millet, paw paws and sugarcane farming. However, since the onset of unpredictable rains, most of these farmers have ceased the cultivation of these crops.....Read More..

Climate Change Intervention in Western Kenya

Image


Rural communities are the biggest losers in the wake of climate change , with communities losing livelihoods and lives every passing year. Sectors such as agriculture which support a majority of rural communities are continuously affected by erratic weather patterns, intense floods and prolonged droughts.
Sustainable Environmental Development Watch (SUSWATCH), a Non-Governmental Organization in Kenya, has been working closely with rural communities in the western Kenya counties of Kisumu and Homabay to develop county climate change policies. This would enable the flow of devolved climate finances towards adaptation interventions that have been identified by the communities.
In its activities, the organization has capacity built representatives of community based organizations on county budgets and participation in other county planning meetings such as the development of the 5 year, County Integrated Development plans (CIDPs) and Read More...

Clean water bringing joy to the islanders of Mfangano

Image


An assessment conducted by SusWatch Kenya in 2015/16 on the adaptive capacity of communities in the Lake Victoria Basin to climate change, identified Wakula South as a climate hotspot community; therefore making them vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, such as water scarcity. Mfangano was once an island of abundant forestry resources and flowing streams. Sadly, it is now a distant image of its former glory. Intense deforestation for boat making and firewood has contributed to the clearing of forests which were the catchments for the streams that served the community with clean and fresh water.Since the lake is the main source of water for this community now, there is overdependence on the resource thus resulting in the lake’s water being contaminated and unsuitable for human consumption.As an intervention, SusWatch Kenya through the USAID-PREPARED project, donated 4, 10000 liter water tanks to the community, which were installed at Ugina Primary School. These were to serve the community of Ugina and Read more

Floods, greatest contributor to food insecurity in Budalangi Constituency

Image



Currently, over 100 thousand people in Igigo Community suffer from chronic food insecurity and poor nutrition due to the effects of Climate Change as well as degradation of natural resources such as soil and water, loss of biological biodiversity, diminishing arable land and extreme weather events including intensive floods. Nearly half of those affected require emergency food assistance at any given time. At the same time, about 40% of those affected are children and are characterized as malnourished. Food insecurity has a high cost to individuals, school learners, teachers and to society as a whole and has been a consistent pattern in all groups of people regardless of the income level, gender, age, marital status, race/ethnicity, or religion.....Read more

The Diminishing Wetlands of Manguo in Limuru

Image




It is not known to what extent boreholes are affecting the wetland, but with uncontrolled abstraction of water, the water table is bound to be reduced and the wetland runs a risk of becoming dry land, thus losing its bio-diversity and beneficial environmental impact. Already, the impact has been felt by locals: the array of birdlife has reduced; flamingos and herons are entirely absent. Ducks are now the dominant fauna that can be observed in the swamp.

 This demonstrates the negative impacts of anthropogenic factors (human activities) on the environment, which plays a key role in increased vulnerability of people and animal species with respect to adverse climate change. Thus, it is paramount that the Kenyan populace recognizes the vital importance of wetlands, so that this generation would ensure their security for future generations. This is therefore a decisive moment for the relevant bodies to work towards championing the conservation of wetlands by educating the citizens and Read more...

Climate Change Intervention in Soroti Uganda

Image



Over the years, the dry season has become increasingly hotter and drier. Rainfall is more erratic. Farmers are becoming aware of the changing weather pattern, but have limited information on effective strategies for adapting to the changes. Many farmers in Soroti are pondering on the climatic changes that seem to be eating away their livelihood. Their leaders are not silent either. Bye laws have been enacted as well as integrating climate change activities in development plans. Mobilization, sensitization and enforcement are a good mix for climate action to take place.The Local Council 5 chairperson (District Chairperson) Mr. George Michael Egunyu keeps a stern warning to persons who encroach wetlands” Keep the wetlands for wetlands. Avoid living near the swamps, so that when the floods come they do not affect many people. Stop cutting trees. Plant more trees.”, he states. He shows off a copy of a draft bye law entitled” Presentation of the draft forest management and tree planting Ordinance to the district Executive Committee Meeting”; he adds that Read more...

Climate Change Affecting Fisheries in Lake Victoria

Image


Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh water lake in the world only after Lake Superior in North America. It is the source of livelihood for millions of people living on the shores. Lake Victoria plays a major ecological role and a climate regulator in the East African region. Climate variability exhibited due to climate change has greatly impacted the activities of the fishermen in Lake Victoria in the recent past. Changes in the winds and the hydrological patterns cycles resulting from climate change has affected the lake environment hence negative effects in the fishing industry. Although the lake water quality is a function of several factors, increase in floods in the catchment areas have contributed to sedimentation and eutrophication which is blamed on the proliferation of water hyacinth. Read more...

Drought and Food insecurity in Rachuonyo North Sub-County

Image


Rachuonyo North in the county of Homa Bay is one of the areas which face famine periodically due to drought and erratic rainfall. Although the area is traversed by several rivers such as River Awach and Sare and also boarders Lake Victoria, the community members hardly get enough water for their domestic and agricultural use. During dry season, the shallow wells in the area dry up leaving the community members without water for domestic and livestock use.
In East Africa, Kenya is one of the countries with diverse economy and agriculture forms about 18% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Although agriculture is important to the country’s economy, most of the farmers cultivate their  Read more...

Water Dilemma in Nyando River Basin

Image


In the tropical regions, climate change effects have resulted to increase in flooding of the river basins. At the same time, there is increased occurrence of drought in places which had been receiving adequate and reliable rainfall. Nyando river basin lies in the Eastern side of Kisumu City, Kenya. The area is traversed by River Nyando whose catchment extends to Nandi Hills and drains into Lake Victoria. It forms part of the larger Kisumu County. Most of the residents of this area are farmers apart from a few who are fishermen. The fishermen are living on the shores of Lake Victoria while the farmers are distributed along the river basin. Nyando is one of the places in Kenya which is prone to flooding due to the fluctuating levels of River Nyando. Part of the river basin is used for rice growing and the government of Kenya, through ministry of water and irrigation has put up infrastructure for irrigation of the rice fields. Although this has contributed to the management of the floods in the area, Read more...

Impact of Radio Lake Victoria in Climate Change Awareness

Image


Vernacular radio programmes are among the most effective ways of conducting community sensitization on climate change and environment related issues. Radio Lake Victoria 92.1 FM is one of the stations that is on environmental education and community empowerment through interactive programmes. Founded in 1990s, the station has been in the forefront of sensitizing the communities living around Lake Victoria on issues related to environment. Read more...

Uncontrolled cutting of trees contributes to drought in Magude

Image


Thousands of hectares have been destroyed in Magude district, specifically in Nhongane, a village 20 Km away from the district headquarter. This destruction is directly connected to the production of charcoal for commercialization and cutting down of trees for firewood for domestic consumption. The charcoal production is the main source of family income in the community.
People from the community know the risk behind cutting down trees, however, they do not have alternatives to face their vulnerable situation. For example, Mr. Fancisco Mtene Matusse, a father of four children stated that cutting down trees it is his only source of income.
I acknowledge that we are destroying our forest, and that this drought is a result of our actions, we cut down trees for firewood and charcoal. Each bank of firewood we sell at..Mr Francisco explains that the distance where the trees are cut down is very long. "We travel a distance of about 20 km, because nearby we no longer have trees, it is a desert. And after we cut down the trees, another very painful and monstrous process takes place to get the charcoal Read more...

Erosion threatens residents of Polana Caniço A neighborhood in Maputo

Image



Families living on the shores of Julius Nyerere Avenue in Maputo City are at risk of losing their houses because of erosion that threatens the slope.
The situation is particularly troubling at Block 70, where families fear that the approaching rainy season may bring them embarrassment.

Fabiao Matias father of three children, resident in the 70 block of Polana-Caniço neighbourhood says he is afraid of a possible tragedy.
"I'm afraid. I do not know what will be for us when the rain falls. Some people have been removed from the area because their houses collapsed. In the past people's houses have fallen, tomorrow might be my house to fall. This problem is not just ours, my neighbours also face the same problem. We want that part to be rehabilitated like the rest of the avenue, "he appealed Read more....

Mangrove is Assaulted by Irregular Constructions of Houses

Image


Just a closer look to see how much has the mangrove occupation along the bank the Matola River has grown. Practically every bank is occupied by houses, most of them with precarious material, buildings of reed, and masonry houses.

According to Luis Jafar, resident in Matola River who has been living in the neighbourhood since 2010s, people are destroying the mangrove for the construction of houses. "We are damaging our environment as we are destroying the mangrove. These houses are made during the night, and when it is dawn we just come across with these houses. Actually people know that they should not build here because it is not a place for construction, but they do not listen. The city council has also tried to prevent from building houses along the banks but they are stubborn”. He said.
Read more....

Shrinking Rivers and Forests

Image

As communities have sought for energy, water bodies have been compromised leading to the dilapidation of different native flora and fauna. This has exposed communities to harsh environmental conditions which affects the poor most harshly due to their direct reliance on these resources.
In seeking to find the impacts of deforestation to the local community and measures being put in place to conserve the forests, I visited Thuitu Village, in Gitugi constituency, Murang’a County, approximately 30 km from the Aberdares Mountains. Murang’a County boasts one of the highest rates of forest cover in Kenya at 14.5%, set against a national average of 7%1 forest coverage. Residents are, however, unsettled due to temperature increases.  
Read more....

Demand for Air Conditioners, as effects of climate change increase in the City of Maputo

Image



In recent years, Mozambique has been experiencing more frequent adverse weather events. That is, there are more intense rains, more heat vacancies, in particular the city of Maputo where temperatures tend to rise. For example in the week of 02 to 20 December, there was a heat wave, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Celsius of maximum and from 23 to 24 degrees Celsius of minimum.
This rise in temperatures in Maputo is causing negative effects on residents. For example, there has been an increased demand for conditioned air, making the price of these devices much higher. For example, for Filipe Mate, a resident in Downtown, said that the climate has changed ultimately in the city. The lack of trees has also contributed to the rise in weather. "We are having extreme weather events. Consecutive days of intense heat, which had not happened 10 years ago, because the city had many trees, and it was even called by the city of Acacias. At moment the city has few trees. As a consequence we are spending a lot of money to purchase air conditioners. And  
Read more....