Enhancing resiliency to drought in Marsabit County, Kenya

In the sub-locations of Kambinye and Kargi in Marsabit County, the 2011 drought adversely affected vulnerable communities living in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-arid lands,

resulting to loss of livestock and growing conflict between households over reduced quantities of grazing land, water and other natural resources.

As such, efforts to increase the capacity of pastoralist communities to cope with and adapt to a greater prevalence of drought due to climate change requires a holistic approach that addresses their need for information, capacity building and new livelihood opportunities.

To demonstrate actions that can be taken on the ground to increase resiliency to climate change, The USAID funded REGAL-IR project in partnership with the Kambinye Community and the Marsabit County Government, identified a friendly rain water harvesting technology and underground water tank as the most appropriate technology for this region in early 2015 for increased access to reliable water sources.

The underground tank which stores up to 147,000 liters of water is contributing to improved water access while promoting water conservation. The tank serves approximately 163 households whose women and children used to travel an average of 30 kilometres to collect water.

“It is a big relief for a pregnant woman like me”

1 year old Naribu Kholbokha who is expecting her second child. She is among a group of pastoralists who have relocated from Kargi sub location to Kambinye sub location with her livestock in pursuit of reliable water.

The project is driven by a Participatory Learning and Planning Action (PLPA) process through which the people of Kargi and Kambinye identified their priority concerns and desired responses and linked with technical support with the County Government and other stakeholders.

To ensure sustainability of the project, each household has contributed Kes. 1000 (US$ 10) towards the purchase of a water boozer. As a result, this community has confidence to cope with frequent droughts and better livelihood in the future.