Adapting to climate change through land and water management in Eastern Africa: Results of pilot projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania

Adapting to climate change through land and water management in Eastern Africa: Results of pilot projects in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania

FAO-Sida report providing evidence and lessons learned from a climate adaptation pilot project in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

With around 80 per cent of the population of the Eastern African region dependent on agriculture which is at risk from climate change impacts, particularly increasing water scarcity and more variable rainfall and seasonal patterns, countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia face a pressing need to implement climate adaptation measures. This report presents the evidence from a FAO-Sida supported pilot project within these three countries, which targeted intervention at strengthening community and individual producers adaptive capacity using different institutional training mechanisms tailored to each country-specific context.

The paper is split into two parts. First, a planning framework for adaptation at the local level is presented, before project findings are outlined. Overall, the project demonstrated that a substantial boost in investment is needed, and that one-size does not fit all; different local factors, including biophysical, socioeconomic, and land ownership, determines the correct approach to take. With regard to scaling up adaptation efforts, a number of issues must be addressed within the four themes identified as priorities: increasing soil health; water conservation; livelihood diversification, and the strengthening of local institutions. These recommendations include better utilisation of scientific knowledge and technology, a variety of sustainable practice and resource management approaches, the adoption of more short-term crops better suited to variable rainfall, and greater organisation and cooperation between farmers. The second part of the report consists of a number of case studies from the pilot in each of the three countries studied. A background to each study site and approach is then described. In Ethiopia, the focus was on community-based, participatory integrated water management while in Tanzania and Kenya the focus was on the strengthening of capacity for climate change adaptation through sustainable land and water management. For each site, specific interventions are then examined - two in Ethiopia, and five in each of Tanzania and Kenya. These include protecting farm land and homestead areas from unpredictable floods in Ethiopia; marketable banana production for enhanced incomes and food security in Kenya; and Beekeeping as an incentive for participatory forestry, land, and water management in Tanzania.

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