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Climate Change Case

Integrates Approaches in Improving Communities Resilience to Effects of Climate Change

Every year, natural hazards such as droughts, diseases outbreaks and environmental degradation have led to delay in future development due to the loss of resources and changing of climate. Hazards have destroyed and led to delay in development through direct destructions of community health and lead to heavy economic loss. There is usually a need to shift resources to emergency responses thus depressing the investment. Children mostly are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

Traditionally, farmers in the target areas of Makueni and Machakos counties have relied on rain-fed agriculture. But the climate has changed, becoming much drier, and this method is no longer possible.  People are forced to collect water around 5kilometres from their homes. It takes many hours every day that could be spent growing food or incase of children, studying. The ensuing poverty means that parents cannot pay their children's school fees, condemning another generation to a life without opportunity. Due to climate change, communities in these dry areas have joined force due to the acute shortage of water so as to combat their water problems, reduce poverty levels, improve their livelihoods and try to conserve their local environment. Successive seasons of water shortage have created a vicious circle of crop failure and seed shortage. The ensuing poverty means that parents cannot pay their children's school fees, condemning another generation to a life without opportunity.

An intervention of this starts with a sand dam, earth dams, shallow well and agricultural practises to give them a lifelong supply of clean water and food secure environment close to home.

Reduction of climate change effects through environmental conservation

Groups have experienced a better survival by getting of income to sustain their livelihoods through tree planting. Tree planting helps in conserving the environment. Woodlots are small forests established, they help the groups in getting income when they sell timber and it helps the environment to look beautiful. Mumbuni water project group is located in Yandue Location in Mbooni West District in Makueni County. It is one of the groups in Kalawani Progressive CBO with a total of 54 members (31Males and 23 Females).  Mumbuni group was started in the year 2004 with 32 members. The group does agricultural practices i.e. greenhouse, drip irrigation and conservation of environment through managing a tree nursery.

The group established a tree nursery in April 2012. It was supported with water tank, wire mesh, Generator, pipes, potting bags and gravellier seeds. They were able to prepare a nursery of 20M by 20M and fenced it. They planted gravellier, moringa, pawpaw, lemons and mangoes. After a period of two weeks the group potted 21,000 seedlings of different varieties. Through their team work they managed the nursery well until the rainy season.

Mumbuni group members attending their nurseryMumbuni group members attending their nurseryMumbuni water project was expressing their happiness and thankfulness to UCCS and supporting partners for the support they have offered them.

They are selling the seedlings to institutions, individual community members, churches and outsiders. So far they have sold 16,400 seedlings at 10 shillings each i.e. 164,000 shillings.

Each member has planted 35 seedlings in their homes this rainy season compared to last rainy season where by each member planted 20 only.  They have a group bank account where they save the money they get.

The money is going to be used to source different varieties of seeds and the rest they will come to any agreement of what activity to start.



Mr. Maithya stands on his tree plantation in his farmMr. Maithya stands on his tree plantation in his farm


For replication of conserving environment in the whole location, the group is doing an awareness of importance of trees and during this time they give every participant 2 seedlings.

Over 1500 individual households have planted their own trees in their homesteads and farms.

Through this awareness they are still publicizing the medicinal plant i.e. moringa aloe Vera and community turn up is high in buying the seedling.

Other groups establishing tree nurseries visit this group for learning and consultation of Mumbuni Water Project group success.


Promotion of adaptable seed varieties to cope with changing weather patterns

Drought tolerant seeds include sorghum, cowpeas, and finger millet and green grams. They are suitable in the dry areas because most of farmers depend on the rain fed. A farmer in Makakya CBO has also gained benefits of being food secure through planting drought tolerant seeds. Stephen Kaluku is a member of Ndumooni SHG of Makakya CBO in Kyawango location, Mwala sub county in Machakos County. He heads a family of 8 people including his wife; (4 men and 4 women). He and his wife benefitted on climate change awareness and good agricultural practices training sessions held at Ndumooni Demo farm where they had learnt more on drought tolerant seeds (DTS): green grams, cow peas, sorghum and finger millet. After the training the farmers were supported with seeds, Kaluku was supported with 3kgs of sorghum and 4kgs of cow peas which he did practice what learnt in his farm last season.

Her area was and is frequently affected by drought due to insufficient rainfall patterns, the water sources which are seasonal rivers dries up and people are forced to walk long distances to get water from River Miu by donkeys which is approximately 5 kilometers away. For Angelina , She wastes a lot of time and money to get water for her livestock and domestic use, therefore her income remains very little to do other house chores and lack of water to do small scale irrigation as water is inadequate.  Both of the seasons she has never harvested as per her expectation and most the times, rains were un-sufficient in the area.

Angelina Kaluku assisted by group members to prepare her cowpeas for storageAngelina Kaluku assisted by group members to prepare her cowpeas for storageThough rains were not enough last season, the family managed to harvest 160kgs of sorghum and 40kgs of cow peas from half an acre of this was as result of training done on demo farm. Most of farmers in the area who are used to ordinary seeds they harvested little or no harvest since rains failed.

Since inception, people have being planting maize and beans which requires lots of rains to grow.  Through trainings on agriculture and horticulture he has been able to set the notion of farm work as his daily duty. She has managed to involve the other group members in learning what she has done.

“I received 4kgs of cow peas and 3kgs of sorghum from UCCS during the seed distribution period when we had severe drought in our area which I planted on my farm; I managed to harvest 200kgs from the farm” Angeline says



Kaluku and wife protecting their sorghum from predatorsKaluku and wife protecting their sorghum from predatorsKaluku has reported that he will not buy food and especially cereals for the next two months unlike others who were not trained and they used ordinary knowledge. He has reported that he will adopted that knowledge of climate change and next season he will be prepared to plant the whole farm using the same technology.

For the first time Kaluku is not going to buy legumes for his family unlike other years when he used to plant traditional seeds. Whatever earnings he is getting from wages he is now paying school fees for the children and servicing other family basic needs.






Water and good agricultural practices are good in doubling household income.

Through established water structures like sand dams, earth dams and farm ponds farmers have being able to utilize the water in small scale irrigation.  For the past 6years Mr. Daniel Muyanga from Kamwinzi Village in Kalawani Location has been living as a casual labourer and a peasant farmer with the other family members. 

Muyanga participating in the construction of the sand damMuyanga participating in the construction of the sand damHaving no other source of income, Muyanga and other family members went through hard times as they battled excruciating hunger pangs. His grandchildren were as often in school as they were out. Because of the long history of strife in the area, government support and extension services were not adequate. The family went on with the daily unrewarding chores, with no hope for the future.

That is, until UCCS selection process of the areas in line with the poverty indexes and support for the reduction of the degree of poverty level of his community that Muyanga was a beneficiary of the interventions done.

Sand dam help Muyanga to do some small scale irrigation. The other family members have been helping him on labour provision and they are realizing a great change on crop production and could get surplus for sale. He no longer asks for casual labor in other peoples’ farms but pays wages to women to harvest French beans in their family’s farm


Completed sand dam which has harvested water which is utilized for small scale irrigation and for domesticCompleted sand dam which has harvested water which is utilized for small scale irrigation and for domesticInitially, Daniel Muyanga relied on the rains for the planting of beans and maize on his family’s two acre farm and he was not able to improve his family’s standards of living and support education of the other three children. The little farm could only reward him with 1.5 bags of beans and 2 bags of maize year in year out.

She could not afford school fees for his younger children, who each on average required Kshs. 15,000 for the three school terms in a year. His biggest dilemma was what to do with the measly one and half bags of beans and maize; sell them for a pittance at the Kalawani Market or feed them.

For the last two months he managed to sale vegetables i.e. kales to the community for 7,000, tomatoes 6 crates each at 1200 totaling  to 7,200, spinach for 6,500 and onions 4 nets each 250 totaling to 1000.  He has also sold French beans to Kenya Fresh two times a total of 9 crates and each crate totaling to 1,200 getting 10,800.

The total amount he got from one harvest is 32,500 which he said was a good amount for the start. For the replication of the same in the community he has been able to educate other youths and those who are willing to do the same in their farms. A field day was hosted for neighboring villages to learn the same.

Muyanga with his wife on their farm during the first season where he had planted kalesMuyanga with his wife on their farm during the first season where he had planted kales Muyanga on his French beans farmMuyanga on his French beans farm



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