Perceptions and adaptation to climate change and variability by immigrant farmers in semi-arid regions of Kenya

  • PN Macharia
  • EG Thuranira
  • LW Ngángá
  • J Lugadiru
  • S Wakori
Keywords: Biodiversity, drought, food security, tree planting

Abstract

Kenya comprises of 83% arid and semi-arid land mainly suited to extensive livestock production. Communities living in the semi-arid areas have been affected by serious effects of climate change and variability. A study was carried out to evaluate farmer perceptions and adaptation to climate change in Naro Moru and Nairutia areas (both in Nyeri North District) and Matanya in Lamuria Division in Laikipia East District, areas that are typically semi-arid in nature. The farmers identified environmental destruction as the major contributor to the visible effects of climate change and variability in the region. The main indicators are erratic and low rainfalls, frequent droughts and dust storms, low crop yields and high day and low night time temperatures. The effects of climate change resulted into increased levels of poverty, food insecurity, change in biodiversity and scarcity of resources such as water and indigenous trees which are sources of medicine, nectar, fuel wood, timber and fodder. Changes in biodiversity entail disappearance of wild animals and insects such as safari ants and an upsurge of pests (e.g. centipedes, millipedes and birds). The reduced availability of resources has changed the people’s attitudes towards the need to conserve the natural resources and enhance food security through self and group initiatives. The biggest efforts have been towards tree planting and husbandry and adoption of appropriate technologies and
farming methods.
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Articles

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eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730