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Journal of Environmental Science and Technology
  Year: 2011 | Volume: 4 | Issue: 4 | Page No.: 403-410
DOI: 10.3923/jest.2011.403.410
 
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Livelihoods under Climate Variability and Change: An Analysis of the Adaptive Capacity of Rural Poor to Water Scarcity in Kenya’s Drylands

A.W. Mwang`ombe, W.N. Ekaya, W.M. Muiru, V.O. Wasonga, W.M. Mnene, P.N. Mongare and S.W. Chege

Abstract:
Water is the most limiting factor in crop and livestock production in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) of sub-Saharan Africa. This study was carried out in Kibwezi district of Kenya mainly inhabited by agro-pastoralists. Information on historical trends of climate variability, its effects on crops, livestock, pastures, water resources and the coping strategies adopted by the farmers was captured using structured questionnaire. In addition, family portraits were developed from 10 households to generate more information. Data was analyzed by subjecting it to descriptive statistical analysis. Most (98%) of the respondents mentioned increased dry conditions as the main unusual climatic events. Other impacts of climate change were increased crop failures, low forage, reduced livestock productivity and increased livestock and human diseases. In response, households had developed both short and long term adaptive mechanisms and this included planting of drought tolerant and early maturing varieties, early or dry planting, water harvesting, migration of men to urban centers to seek wage employment, de-stocking of herds and change of herd composition. The effects of climate change are already being experienced by communities living in drylands and water scarcity is the main constraint. The inexpensive and locally adapted techniques in rain water harvesting needs to be up-scaled to alleviate water scarcity in these areas.
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How to cite this article:

A.W. Mwang`ombe, W.N. Ekaya, W.M. Muiru, V.O. Wasonga, W.M. Mnene, P.N. Mongare and S.W. Chege, 2011. Livelihoods under Climate Variability and Change: An Analysis of the Adaptive Capacity of Rural Poor to Water Scarcity in Kenya’s Drylands. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, 4: 403-410.

DOI: 10.3923/jest.2011.403.410

URL: https://scialert.net/abstract/?doi=jest.2011.403.410

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