Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands
Working with pastoral and transitional communities to reduce hunger and poverty, increase social stability, and build strong foundations for economic growth and environmental resilience.
The frequent recurrence of drought combined with the vulnerabilities of local populations continues to be one of the key challenges affecting development in Kenya’s Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs). The recent prolonged drought, from 2008-2011, left nearly four million people in desperate need of assistance and was characterized by large livestock losses and severe socio-economic impacts.
It is against this background that USAID’s Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands project was designed to decrease vulnerabilities, build resilience, and stimulate growth in selected ASAL areas. The goal is to support Government of Kenya and donor efforts to work with pastoral and transitional communities to reduce hunger and poverty, increase social stability, and build strong foundations for economic growth and environmental resilience.
The project consults and supports community members and structures to strengthen social, economic, and environmental resilience. Focus areas include diversification of livelihood opportunities, community management of natural resources, improving livestock market access, disaster risk reduction, and improving nutritional outcomes.
REGAL-IR bridges humanitarian and disaster assistance with resilience-strengthening and expanded economic opportunities in the arid lands through disaster risk and conflict reduction, natural resource management and mapping of community resources, and strengthening of livestock, and other sectors.
- Improve business capacity of individual and community based enterprises.
- Support access to produce markets.
- Support community structures to improve management of their natural resources.
- Strengthen community capacity to resolve conflicts.
- Improve consumption of nutritious foods.
Overall, it is expected that the interventions will lead to improved resilience and reduced need for recurring humanitarian relief in five counties in Northern Kenya. Specifically, the project’s integrated approach will lead to increased household income owing to improved ability to engage in income generating activities and creation of vibrant centres that provide pastoralists with access to markets. Livestock productivity will also be enhanced through support to livestock keepers, NGOs and CBOs utilizing improved rangelands and water resources practices. By the end of the project local structures and organizations such as water and drought management committees, peace committees, and other governance mechanisms will have been assisted and strengthened to improve resilience and further sustainable development. The combined effect of community empowerment, ownership of development activities and improved coordination will contribute to poverty reduction, and improved quality of life among pastoralist families.
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Matthew Lovick, Chief of Party, email@example.com