Natural Resources & Disaster Management.
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Natural resources is a very integral part of our livelihoods. Many rural communities depend upon activities like agriculture as their main source of income. Kenya is facing a huge negative impact of climate change that has led to the deterioration of natural resources due to the increased frequency and intensity of disasters – both natural and man-made. FSK recognizes the dependency of agriculture on natural resources and its impact on the farming communities, socio-economic and environmental status. FSK, therefore, engages communities in diverse climate change mitigation and adaptation techniques as outlined below.
- Conservation Agriculture (CA), Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and Dryland Farming.
FSK is currently working in various part of the country implementing projects which seek to capacity build communities through CA technologies with its main objective being to increase productivity while minimizing the disruption of the soil’s structure, composition, and natural biodiversity while building resilience. FSK has employed CA & CSA through crop rotation, use of cover crops, IPM (Integrated Pest Management), use of tolerant crop varieties hence reducing and removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.
This has contributed to improving crop yields while safeguarding the long-term environmental and financial sustainability of farming. This has also enhanced livelihoods and strengthened community-based natural resource management. This is done through Agroforestry and establishing tree/shrub nurseries at the household level. One of the trees/shrubs that FSK has identified for Agroforestry includes Faidherbia Albida, Sesbania among others.
For example, Faidherbia albida’s drought tolerance and reverse phenology qualities enable farmers in these regions to improve agricultural productivity through sustainable agricultural practices and environmental resilience hence food security.
FSK promotes the adaptation of dryland farming techniques to communities in Arid Semi-arid Lands (ASALs) this includes the right choice of crop, diversification of crop variety, Water saving technology including Zai pit, sunken bed, and hand water pan among other technologies. This has had a huge positive impact at the household level.
- Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)
This is a low cost easy to adopt technology that FSK in partnership with World Vision Kenya is implementing under Re-greening Africa Program, where local communities are trained to manage degraded lands thus rejuvenating them into natural eco-systems that support biodiversity. This technology is applied degraded ecosystems such as mangrove forest, dryland, and moist land forest as well as in Savannah and woodlands. Communities are able to revitalise these ecosystems without necessarily planting tree seedlings that have proven difficult to manage.
- Focus on the Donkey as Climate Change Resilience, Mitigation and Adaptation Livestock.
For many years the donkey has remained as orphaned livestock. NGOs, local communities and indeed government planners have left it out while planning for livestock development. It has traditionally been assumed that the donkey is tough enough to cater for itself much as this animal is the prototype livestock for community resilience. In all areas of operation around the country, the donkey has proven to be the animal that the whole household falls back to for the all-important stuff including transport of food items, farm supplies, Wood fuel, Water, Tree seedlings to interior parts of Mau forest that could not be accessed by vehicles or motorbikes and indeed supply of feeds and water to the rest of the livestock.
In this context, FSK has been working with communities in Narok and Baringo counties to ensure donkeys have access to feed and better welfare so as to offer better services to communities, especially during drought periods. This is done through training donkey owners on pasture establishment, storage and linking them to local service providers to access health care services. The communities are also trained on proper animal husbandry practices to ensure donkey are in good form of health
In FSK Climate mitigation and adaption effort the organization targets improvement of donkey welfare at the household level, whenever climate change related disaster strikes.
- Community Advocacy and Climate Justice
Local communities have been impacted negatively by climate change due to poor government policies. We engage communities by empowering them to not only understand their rights in matters climate change but also to demand action by duty barries including the local and national government. Communities are also empowered to know and be able to make and influence the right decision as far as natural resources in their locality are concerned.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).
FSK is currently working in various counties, i.e. Baringo, Laikipia, Narok, and the greater Nakuru, where we have been at the forefront of building and strengthening the resilience of vulnerable communities to respond to and mitigate natural disasters by applying the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) approach to implement projects where we do not just provide participatory humanitarian aid to the communities to ensure that the lives, dignity and well-being of the affected communities are protected but also build capacity of the communities through sustainable Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) projects communities’ capacity to effectively respond to other disasters. This includes, but is not limited to, disaster preparedness and early warning systems training, community sensitization and training to increase awareness of climate change risk & vulnerabilities, efficient water resources management training, focus group discussions, relevant & efficient farming systems training (including on dry land and conservation agriculture), as well as knowledge transfer to FSK and beneficiary communities and implementing partners on lessons learned.
FSK works with various partners, including the national and county governments and other humanitarian organizations, to respond to emergency disasters where we take emergency measures such as community-identified cash-for-work (CFW) projects targeting both conditional and unconditional beneficiaries to help the communities in early recovery, and water trucking using browsers to drought-stricken communities. These projects have served to save lives in various emergencies which would otherwise have been lost, as attested by one beneficiary, Faith Kapkomor, who said of the drought emergency project intervention in Mondi, East Pokot in June – July 2017,
“Huu mradi umeokoa maisha ya watu wetu kwa sababu watu walikuwa washaanza kufa njaa. Tulikuwa tunakula matunda ya msituni kwa sababu hatukuwa na chakula na mifugo walikufa…ng’ombe karibu mia moja na mbuzi zaidi ya hamsini kwa familia yetu. Hiyo matunda ndiyo pia tulikuwa tunachemsha alafu tunapatia watoto kula kwa sababu hali ilikuwa mbaya sana” (This project has saved the lives of our people because people had already started dying of hunger. We were eating wild fruits because we did not have food and our livestock died…about 100 cows and more than 50 goats, just in our family. That is also what we were boiling then feeding to our children because our situation was desperate).
FSK has supported over 5,000 families while responding to emergencies through cash for work, water trucking and provision of water storage facilities to drought-stricken families in Baringo, and rehabilitation of clash Victims in Molo.