Makueni County Residents Air Their Voices on Climate Change During a Baraza
Makueni County residents mid this month took part in a public baraza hosted by Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) and supported by Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), in Wote, Makueni County. The Baraza sought to discuss the adaptation strategies adopted by the rural farmers in Makueni in their attempt to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The baraza which was conducted in English, Kiswahili, and Kamba languages to reach out to a majority of the farmers aimed at generating innovative solutions pertinent to climate change related issues by starting conversations on opportunities in the areas of Climate Smart Agriculture and Sustainable Energy with relevant stakeholders.
For five to six hours, the farmers were engaged in well-coordinated group discussions guided by the objectives of addressing the major challenges of climate change in the area, specifically water management, food security and adaption techniques. Residents from different ecological groups were grouped together in an approach meant to generate solutions for the entire county.
Possible solutions for the identified challenges were proposed, among them:
- Strengthening of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA)
- Construction of farm ponds for climate adaptation.
KCIC and a section of the farmers are currently conducting post-baraza discussions to identify means by which some of the urgent interventions needed can be fast tracked. Among them is a follow up in-depth research on:
- Assessing the farmers experiences with the proposed climate change adaptation interventions
- Identifying challenges and opportunities that can be explored in relation to the proposed adaptation strategies
- Compiling a comprehensive action report that can culminate into feasible projects to address the identified challenges
The baraza is part of dialogues known as ‘Climate Change Barazas’ that are hosted by Regional Sustainability Network (RSN) for organizations championing the implementation of sustainable development in Africa. KCIC is one of the organisations that have been selected by the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) to represent Kenya in the RSN. The objective of the RSN is to provide a platform to connect organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa for dialogue, knowledge transfer and co-creation of innovative solutions for tackling climate change in Sub-Saharan Africa.
HSF and KCIC have established a working relationship with Utooni Development Organization (UDO) who have, over the past two decades, been among the leading organizations in implementing conservation agriculture and water resource management projects in Makueni, Machakos, and Laikipia counties.
By Amanda Kibe