Adapting to climate change through land and water management in Eastern Africa

Date Apr 10, 2017
Type
Author FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
ISBN No. 123
Description The Eastern African region (which includes Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania) is highly vulnerable to climate change and several of its major sectors (notably agriculture) that significantly contribute to the sub-regions economies are at risk. About 80% of the population in East Africa depend on agriculture, which contributes to 40% of the sub-regions GDP. Climate change will significantly affect the agricultural sector in ways that without adaptation will ultimately reduce yields of subsistence crops, cash crops and the livestock sector. Areas already facing water scarcity are predicted to become drier and thereby cause associated disputes and conflicts. The Eastern African highlands are also vulnerable to a range of climate-sensitive diseases including malaria, dengue fever, meningitis and rift valley fever-whose increased incidence and spread is driven by climate variability and will affect livelihoods.This publication presents the results of the project activities in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, which are in line with many of the core principles identified by FAO-Adapt (FAO, 2011a) such as focus on food security, mainstreaming climate change into local and community development, support to country driven process and design and implementation of location-specific adaption activities. The increase in resilience to climate change is being achieved through adoption of technologies which improve soil health and fertility and facilitate water conservation, through better diversification of sources of livelihood and income, and backed by strong institutional networks. From these pilots, it is clear that adaptation should be perceived as a continuum of approaches, ranging from activities that aim to address the drivers of vulnerability to measures explicitly targeting climate change impacts. It is still early to determine the full effectiveness of the activities, but even within the short project period (two years), the findings show improvements in food security and livelihoods, which contribute to increasing the farmers resilience to climate change.
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