Pastoralists in Northern Kenya embrace irrigation

Written By: Fiona Churu

Pastoralists in Northern Kenya embrace irrigation

Pastoralist communities in Northern Kenya are embracing irrigation to farm crops as an alternative source of livelihood, something that was unheard of some years back.

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With frequent and prolonged effects of drought occasioned by climate change, Kenya Red Cross North Eastern Regional Manager Mohamed Abdikadir says the pastoralist communities are fast losing grip of their only source of livelihood and are forced to seek alternative sources of livelihoods.

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The country has been experiencing drought more frequently, something that is blamed on climate change.

This has forced Kenyans to start diversifying their sources of livelihoods as climate change affects especially those in the agriculture value chain.

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Among the most affected by drought are the pastoralist communities who have slowly been embracing crop farming.

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With the assistance from the Kenya Red Cross, some 200 farmers in Kulan, Garissa County are reaping the benefit of cultivating watermelons, onions, cowpeas and other horticultural crops under drip irrigation.

Speaking when they toured the 20 acres’ farm, Kenya Red Cross Society officials said the food security project will go a long way in improving the economic wellbeing of the area.

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The solar energy powered borehole that is the source of water for irrigation, for livestock and for domestic use was constructed in August last year.

Officials say the project has helped reduce conflicts among the community and minimized cases of children dropping out of school during the drought season.

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