Kenya Red Cross Society, being one of the Sub EEs had a major impact when a drought hit the region in 2011, the Adaptation Fund through the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) came up with a programme, “Waldaa integrated food Security and Livelihood Project” to help increase preparedness capacities of vulnerable communities through food security and resilience interventions. The community in Waldaa has really benefited from the project, drought resistant crops have been adapted and planted this include fruits.
Butternuts are one of the crops that were introduced to the community. It is a drought resistant crop and quite easy to farm. Farmers are currently harvesting the first phase of crops, mainly Butternut and Water Melon. This has cushioned the community from the on-going drought. The harvest is fetching alternative income to the community and also directly being consumed as food item, other drought resistant crops now grown in the area include, amaranth, mangoes and citrus.
So far land has been procured and ploughed for 1000 Fruit trees within Waldaa location in Sololo District, seedlings have been distributed and planted. Because the area is a dry area, solar generator sets are used to power drip irrigation from boreholes set up. The KRCS overlooks and mobilizes funds that have been provided to benefit a total of 600 households on a project that covers a total area of 64 acres of land.
5 solar pumps are to be installed in Waldaa to supplement diesel pumps operations. The development of designs for the solar system and bid documents were completed. However KRCS did not proceed with the tendering process due to the community issues and also due to shortage of funds in house. The activity will be planned for when funds are received from NEMA.
The construction of 2 water reservoirs to support water storage during peak crop water demand periods, the community identified a site where a crusher could be located to supply water for irrigation to the farm. This was also due to complaints that the borehole water was saline and was causing blockages to the drip lines. However upon KRCS assessment, the findings were that the crusher can only hold water of 2,000m3 which is not adequate to support irrigation. This quantity will be depleted with two to three days. An alternate site has been identified near the edge of the farm where KRCS will conduct survey for a water reservoir in the next quarter.
Food Friday: Relationship between climate change and Agriculture: SEE VIDEO