The goal of the Natural Resource Management (NRM) Program is to ensure that beneficiaries of Africa Harvest projects manage natural resources, even as we focus on various development targets. We believe this will unlock maximum benefits for our beneficiaries and other stakeholders while mitigating environmental degradation that may arise from desertification, water pollution, environmentally-related conflicts, climate change and loss of biodiversity.
There is currently no stand-alone project in the NRM Program. However, all Africa Harvest projects have a focus of NRM to ensure sustainable agriculture and mitigate environmental conservation.
Areas of future interventions include:
• Spearheading participatory natural resource management planning.
• Conservation agriculture by integrating crop and trees planting.
• Desert and arid lands rehabilitation.
• Riparian zones conservation and rehabilitation.
• Construction of sand dams along seasonal rivers in semi-arid lands.
• Teaching farmers how to terrace and manage sloppy lands.
Addressing farmer organizations’ challenges in ASALs through water access
The project was implemented in Makueni County, which lies in the ASALs of the Eastern region of Kenya. The County is characterized by a rapidly growing population, especially among the youth under 30 years, who comprise approximately 70% of the total population.
Rural youth are the future of food security. Yet around the world, few young people see a future for themselves in agriculture or rural areas. Makueni County has the highest poverty levels, with a mean poverty level varying among sub-counties, ranging from 36% to 76%.
The project’s target area was the Mulala and Wote sub-counties, situated in the low lying region of the County which receive 150 mm to 650 mm of rainfall per annum. The area has average high temperatures of 35.80ºC. (MCDP 2013–2017).
FOSEMS II focuses on water provision in Kenya’s ASALs
Africa Harvest implemented Phase II of the FOSEMS project. At the end of the project’s first phase the target communities identified water as one of their highest priority needs. The
main challenges identified were household access to water during drought (especially by women), and safe drinking water for children in schools. The project responded by providing 10,000-liter plastic water tanks to help harvest roof water in three schools.