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World Environment Day 2024: A Call for Land Restoration, Combatting Desertification, and Building Drought Resilience

  • By KCIC Communications
  • June 5, 2024
  • 0 Comment

On this World Environment Day, we are yet again reminded of the critical need of adopting sustainable approaches to how we interact with natural resources to reduce the strain on the environment and promote a healthy ecosystem.

The theme for this year’s commemoration dubbed “Land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience,” couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as Kenya and most African countries experience some of the worst extreme weather events in decades. Through land restoration, we are yet again reminded that it is possible to reinstate the land’s function to store carbon, prevent floods, droughts, and increase soil productivity. All this would eventually ensure enhanced economic value and growth, while achieving critical climate action.

As we mark this day, we highlight some of the enterprises that have been supported by KCIC, and who are making significant strides in land restoration and drought resilience. Their contribution to ecosystem restoration and reduction of biodiversity loss is a testament to the possibilities that can be successfully pursued in this space.

RHEA Soil Health located in Nairobi, is at the forefront of soil restoration and management. By employing innovative technology, such as IoT (Internet of Things) sensors, RHEA informs farmers about soil status and provides improvement recommendations to ensure sustainable and profitable growth. Founded by Pricilah Wakarera, RHEA Soil Health works to enhance soil health and fertility, which is essential for sustainable agriculture and land restoration.

Drip Masters East Africa, an irrigation solution provider founded by Ibrahim Haji and situated in Nairobi, provides modern irrigation solutions to smallholder farmers. This includes custom-made drip irrigation kits, sprinkler irrigation kits called Mimea tech, and unbutton ripper systems. They focus on efficient water management systems that are crucial for sustainable farming, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. Drip irrigation minimizes water usage while maximizing crop yield, thus supporting both land restoration and drought resilience. Their work ensures that farmers can maintain productivity even in challenging climatic conditions, securing food supplies and promoting economic stability.

Horizon Business Ventures, contributing to climate resilience through afforestation practices of growing indigenous trees which are drought-tolerant. While extreme weather can nearly eliminate a cash crop harvest, native and local trees bearing the biomass are able to withstand drought, giving farmers and collectors a stable and climate-resilient income. Additionally, by following a market-led conservation approach, the project motivates communities to conserve existing tree habitats and to integrate trees on-farm. Project activities are geared toward reducing carbon emissions and efficient use of natural resources while enabling economic growth that supports the creation of job opportunities and improvement of livelihoods in the rural context. Located in Nyeri County, Horizon Business Ventures aims to make significant strides in climate resilience and sustainable development.

Gotabet Nursuries,  situated in Nandi County, is a commercial forestry enterprise that advocates for agroforestry and local value addition, with a keen focus on combating soil erosion. By promoting agroforestry, Gotabet Nurseries addresses the pressing issue of soil erosion, which threatens agricultural productivity and environmental stability. Through the strategic integration of trees with agricultural crops, they not only enhance soil health and biodiversity but also bolster soil retention, preventing erosion and preserving valuable topsoil.

Technofarm Agroforestry founded by Julius Mwatsama, the enterprise is committed to reforestation through the strategic integration of advanced technology and sustainable forestry practices. Their initiative focus on planting trees and rehabilitating degraded lands, enhancing biodiversity, and sequestering carbon. Located in Kilifi county, the company also creates awareness on the importance of conservation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Irri-Hub, based in Nairobi is an agricultural enterprise that provides sustainable solar-powered drip irrigation systems to smallholder farmers, enhancing their resilience to climate change. By offering innovative water management solutions such as rainwater harvesting and greenhouses, Irri Hub helps optimize water usage and improve crop yields. These initiatives are crucial for promoting efficient water use, supporting farmers in adapting to changing climatic conditions, and ensuring sustainable agricultural practices.

Land plays an important role in climate action more so as an essential carbon sink because its surfaces, such as forests, regulate the planet’s temperature and help store carbon. However, Land degradation decreases the soil’s ability to store carbon leading to extreme weather events, such as prolonged and more intense droughts, heavier rainfall leading to floods, landslides, and intense tropical storms. KCIC joins the #GenerationRestoration movement in promoting innovative initiatives and policies that aim to protect the environment and ensure attainment of the sustainable development goals.

For more information about the theme for 2024 World Environment Day, visit here. Click here to learn more about KCIC Programmes.