Tackling drought in arid lands through devolved disaster risk management

Local men shelter from the sweltering heat while enjoying a session of a traditional board game as they wait for the sun to go down, to allow them to go about their business. Photo: Allan Gichigi/UNDP Kenya
Turkana County boasts of vast resources of underground waters, discovered in 2013, which could supply Kenya with adequate water for 70 years, access to clean water remains a challenge with the majority relying on boreholes or water trucks for domestic water supply. Photo: Allan Gichigi/UNDP Kenya

“Access to water is a big problem here… we have to transport it from Lodwar to be pumped into our tanks.”

“Water lasts 2–3 weeks in good times. Locally, the water is salty — that’s the issue.”

A chart on the wall at Lorugum Sub-County Hospital illustrates the co-relation between heightened drought and increase in hospital admissions for fevers and respiratory tract infections. Photo: Nicholas Wilson/UNDP Kenya
Josephat Lotwel of National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) displays a copy of the Turkana County Hazard Atlas, which acts as a reference resource for County officials and development partners as a mechanism of eliminating possible risks. Photo: Nicholas Wilson/UNDP Kenya

“The history of drought in this County, in the 1940s and 1950s, happened every 10 years — because of climate change this timeframe has been reducing — first 8 or 7 years, later 5 years, and now every 2 years.”

Hazard Atlases form part of the contextual analysis, which informs development agenda and projects. So far, UNDP has supported eight counties to develop Hazard Atlases. Photo: Nicholas Wilson/UNDP Kenya

“We’ve identified the big rivers in the County and how likely they are to flood. Projects under the agricultural sector have been enhanced in terms of space, they’re increasing the arable acreage, and more land’s being opened to enhance food security.”

In #Kenya, UNDP works with the Government and communities towards inclusive and sustainable socio-economic and human development. https://www.ke.undp

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