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A trip to the local market

A trip to the local market in Kajiado town shows just how serious the situation is. Vendor’s stalls are almost empty with only the bare amount of vegetables and pluses to be found, none of which have actually been produced in the region.

Kenny Matampash, the executive director of local NGO Neighbours Initiative Alliance, explains how serious the situation is right now. “This persistent drought and the failure of rains over the past two years has deeply affected this region. Even when the rains have come they have not lasted long enough for enough vegetation to grow in adequate amounts.

“We used to expect a drought every 10 years. Then it began to happen every five years. Now it’s happening every year, which doesn’t leave any time for our pastoralists to get back on their feet.” Although some communities of Kajiado have benefited hugely from wells and boreholes that have been sunk through the support of Concern and Nia, in certain areas where I visited water is almost non-existent for both for people and animals. What little rain has fallen in recent days has been collecting in muddy puddles in the sandy soil. For most people of these areas, this is their only water source; they need it for drinking, washing, cooking and giving to animals.

Safety nets

Neighbours Initiative Alliance, with the support of Concern, are now carefully monitoring the situation with the aim of ensuring there are safety nets and support in place for the pastoralists at risk.

We’ve been working with Neighbours Initiative Alliance over the past few years to help thousands of pastoralists in the region out of poverty. Projects such as water sourcing, drought risk reduction and income generation projects have all helped enormously. However, with the disastrous impact that climate change is having on these communities, crisis interventions are becoming more and more common.