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A new study looks at five major impacts of climate change, the sectors and the people most vulnerable.

Almost 750 million people in South Asia were affected by floods, droughts, extreme rainfall, heat waves and sea-level rise — all impacts of climate change or worsened by it — in the first decade of this millennium, according to new research by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

Agriculture was the sector most vulnerable to these impacts, authors of the report found. The Indo-Gangetic plain was at maximum risk. The causes and effects of these disasters have been studied sporadically in the past. Now the authors of this report have applied a consistent methodology to study them, including assessment of the population affected along with agricultural losses. The study has used spatial data and customised tools.

The authors — Giriraj Amarnath and Niranga Alahacoon of IWMI; Vladimir Smakhtin of the United Nations University, Institute for Water, Environment and Health in Ontario, Canada; and Pramod Aggarwal of the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security — carried out regional, country-wise and sub-national assessments of the five climate-related risks. They did this by overlaying climate hazard, sensitivity and adaptive capacity maps, following the vulnerability assessment framework of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With this, they developed a combined index based on hazard, exposure and adaptive capacity to identify areas susceptible to extreme risk.

The study used data on the spatial distribution of various climate related hazards in 1,398 sub-national areas of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. An analysis of country-level population exposure showed that approximately 750 million people are affected by combined climate hazards.

Of the affected population, 72% is in India, followed by 12% each in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The remaining 4% are spread across Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Originally published on the India Climate Dialogue website.

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Water scarcity is a critical constraint to Kenya’s socioeconomic development and its achievement of vision 2030.On 11 April 2017, the Government and partners from the development and business communities launched the Kenya chapter of the Billion Dollar Alliance for Rainwater Harvesting, a continent-wide, multi-actor alliance designed to scale up farm pond technology for agribusiness and livelihood resilience for dry land farming systems.Kenya’s rainwater potential is more than 350 billion cubic meters. If captured and managed, this water is enough to support a population of 233 million people.This partnership is led by World Forestry Center and World Food Program.The main goal of this partnership  is to increase farmers’ income and to improve food security. The partnership will provide technical, financial, policy and research support to the smallholder farmers.Impediments such as slow implementation and low technology adoption may hamper the realization of this process.However, the minister for water and irrigation reaffirmed the stakeholders of the government’s support in creating an enabling environment through proper policy implementation aimed at streamlining the government’s Water Sector and increase  access to clean water for all in adequate quantity and quality at an affordable price as envisaged in Vision 2030 and  the Constitution of Kenya.

Originally published onhttp://www.worldagroforestry.org/

 

 

 

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Dr. Dennis Garrity, Drylands Ambassador for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Distinguished Senior Research Fellow, the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), and Chair of the EverGreen Agriculture Partnership, speaking on bringing together land restoration and peacebuilding for a sustainable future in conflict-prone drylands.

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wwwWould you quit your current position at your place of work to venture out on your own? If so, would you consider yourself to have acquired all the skills and expertise necessary to be successful? According to Samuel, a champion farmer of the Trees for Food Security (T4FS) Project, it was about time he developed his own tree nursery. Having worked as a casual for the Elgon Trust Women Group under T4FS, Samuel used to pot seedlings, maintain the tree nursery as well as collect tree seeds. The returns were however not as good compared to the benefits enjoyed by his employers.

Samuel therefore resolved to quit his job and start his own nursery, banking on the knowledge and skills he acquired over the years. One main hurdle however, potting tubes, stood in his way as they are quite expensive. This however did not deter him from making the bold move. Instead, Samuel would set out on specific days, go around restaurants and bars in the area, to collect milk and beer sachets, which he would use as potting materials. With this innovation and the support of his wife, Samuel was off to a good start on his own.

Acquiring tree seeds was not a big challenge as Samuel had already spotted mature trees in the area. Through past experiences working for the group, Samuel was able to monitor seed maturity period and this would help him plan as to when and how he would collect the seeds. He would therefore move around the community, climb the trees and harvest the seeds.

In order to improve and increase the survival rates of his Eucalyptus seedlings, Samuel introduced a technique where he would place dry banana leaves over a nursery soil mixture and burn to provide  a covering for the nursery beds. This innovation greatly improves the germination and performance of his seedlings. The Trees for Food Security Project has also built my capacity in tree seed collection and maintaining nursery records.

Samuel's innovative and affordable way of potting trees. Photo May MuthuriIn a year, Samuel highlighted that he makes between UGX 500,000 (USD 152) and UGX 1 million (USD 303), depending on the season and orders he receives from projects and local organizations. Pests have however been a challenge as this affects the number of seedlings ready for sale.

Noting his efforts and interests, the Trees for Food Security Project came in to support Samuel by providing the polythene tubes. “I have four children whom I enrolled in a private school which is way more expensive than public schools and I haven’t lacked fees to support them. I also use the proceeds from to purchase household items and sustain my family’s needs. I owe my success to knowledge and skills got from the Elgon Trust Women Group and additional skills and support from the Trees for Food Security Project,” stated Samuel.

Project team and reviewers posing for a group photo with Elgon Trust Women Group. Photo Catherine Muthuri

A number of women in Manafwa District, Uganda, sought to establish a group that would create a joint income generating platform through nurseries, dubbed Elgon Trust Women group. The group started with 8 members and currently has 22members. Challenges arising from harsh weather conditions (mainly having to carry water from a steam to water the seedlings during the dry season) and lack of support from husbands forced some members to opt out. However, knowing the benefits of trees in curbing soil erosion, which was a prevalent challenge in the area
, encouraged the remaining members to stay on, doing the best they could. The group also allows the enrolment (hires) of young men who mainly assist in fetching water to water the seedlings during the dry season. Carolyne, the group leader, highlighted that the Trees for Food Security (T4FS) Project reversed the named challenges through supply of quality seeds and trainings on potting, nursery management, and suitable tree species based on their needs and record keeping.

Members now enjoy diverse benefits such as increased income from the sale of seedlings which enables them to provide loans amongst themselves as well as offer support when one is bereaved or ailing. The group’s success is also hinged on recommendations from the District Forestry Officer, and support from community based organizations, created opportunities to supply seedlings to local Non-Governmental Organizations. The group therefore gets to supply huge orders of between 1,000 – 5,000 seedlings. Furthermore, the group acquires quality seeds and seedlings through the project, wheelbarrows, nails, watering cans and polythene tubes, keeping them afloat at all times.

Members also noted they sell firewood or poles to other farmers and earn some income to takwwe them through a number of days. The poles are usually in demand after harvesting periods as they are used for drying beans. Moreover, the women get to make charcoal from the trees they have planted on their farms and earn income through the surplus. Members stated that they no longer have to necessarily rely on their husbands to meet all their household needs such as paying school fees for their children.

Operating like a cooperative, members are encouraged to acquire extra income for their own use, by collecting seeds on behalf of the group as well as potting coffee in plantations nearby. The youngest member of the group highlighted that he can now pay his own school fees from income he has accrued over the months, by collecting seeds for the members. For a while, his parents could not afford to cater for his fees and that is when he considered joining the group, having noted the benefits members enjoy.

Women are also able to sustaiwwen themselves, not borrowing money from their husbands all the time as was the norm. “Courtesy of the Project, all members are smartly dressed, have neat hair and still have some income left to cater for personal needs. Moreover, since its women’s role to fetch firewood, it’s much easier now as we have them readily available in our farms hence don’t have to travel distances for the same,” stated Carolyne.