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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adapting & Combating Climate Change : A task for all of us

By Sheila Ngigi

All roads led to the Multipurpose Development Institute on the 18th of February as sponsors, researchers from Egerton university- Laikipia Campus, officials from the ministries of agriculture and livestock development, partners, stakeholders and farmers all came out in large numbers. Researchers in-charge of the project are Dr. Susan Kamuru, Dr. Nancy Mungai, Dr. Kariuki among others all of Egerton University, Laikipia Campus.
Demonstration site 

The CAPRO Project in Kajiado County first meeting was held on 13/2/2013 through the collaboration of the above named partners. All districts in Kajiado County Kajiado Central, Isinya, Kajiado North, Magadi and Namanga had representatives. It was agreed that the demonstration site be held in Isinya district and be manned by Isinya division staff from the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock development.
Climate Exchange Network for Africa (CENA) is a network of researchers, policy makers and practitioners who have been actively involved in issues of climate change adaptation and combative measures affecting Africa. Its goal is to bring together partners from various organizations in Africa and is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation to implement projects on Climate Change Adaptation.
Types of cereals planted at the site

This network was created out of the recognition that many households today in Africa are unable to adequately adapt to climate inconsistencies and the subsequent increase of food insecurity and declining household incomes.
The demonstration site had maize, cassava, sorghum, beans, sweet potatoes, dolicles, sunflower, cowpeas, green grams, local vegetables, a multistory garden and a water harvesting tank with a drip irrigation kit. On exhibition there was also bee farming kit, samples of foods made from cereals like sorghum and millet, animals like sheep goats, and rabbits. Besides the ministry of agriculture and livestock, other organizations like ALIN, Coopers Limited, Simlaw seeds, Starke Flyers seeds among others. They all showcased their goods and services that are helping in this fight.
Isinya Maarifa's desk during the Open Session

The crops were planted on 1/11/ 2012 and for the first time on Monday, the demonstration site was reviewed as the farmers and pastoralists were taken through the different ways of managing and adapting to climate changes.
Other Partners present

Farmers bore witness to the fact that more than ever rainfall patterns have increasingly kept on changing due to effects of desertification and increase in green house gases in the atmosphere. Speakers admonished those who have refused to take up this issue as a national disaster and encouraged farmers to put into practice the lessons they had learnt. “If you only think that livestock is the only way of life, then you are in for trouble. It is time we take up farming of those crops that will withstand the changes we are experiencing. Mixed cropping, where you have portions of different crops on one plot of land will also ensure that at least you are able to harvest something even in cases of rain failure and drought”, Dr. Susan advised.
Community members keenly listening 

“This challenge will get worse as global warming intensifies due to increasing concentration of greenhouse gases. To counter this challenge, a multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach involving actors that generate and communicate cutting edge scientific knowledge, build capacity of stakeholders at all levels, create new and strengthen existing institutions and influence policy development and change, is needed and that is why we are here”, Dr. Mungai emphasized.

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