Participants to ACC-LVB Workshop in Naivasha Resort Hotel, 22-26th February 2021
Two counties—Busia and Siaya from the Republic of Kenya held workshop from 22rd-26th February 2021 which concluded with identification of priority technologies and farming practices promote adaption to climate change in Lake Victoria.
Key technologies identified by over 30 participants included, but not limited to solar hatcheries, bee keeping and honey processing, on-farm terracing, roof-top rain harvesting and micro irrigation.
The workshop held in Naivasha Resort Hotel, Nakuru County, Kenya was opened by Dr. Ally-Said Matano, LVBC Executive Secretary. Dr.Matano urged participants to extensively share experiences with the view of coming up with impactful interventions at grassroots levels by especially targeting most vulnerable villages in Siaya and Busia counties of Kenya. Prior to the workshop, LVBC team had visited the two counties for a rapid appraisal of climate change issues.
Participants noted the importance of using home-grown solutions and technologies rather than applying expensive and hard to manage technologies and practices. Farming giant bamboo trees emerged as one of practices to promote sustainable land management in Busia and Siaya. While is not yet commonly farmed, technocrats from the two counties appraised the new species (giant bamboo) as multi-purpose: soil conserving, local livelihood improving and easy to manage by local farmers.
In the same workshop, Dr. Matano cited extreme climate and weather driven events such as droughts, prolonged dry periods, erratic rainfall and strong winds in the Lake Basin region as evidences of changing climate. “Crop failures, water scarcity and livestock deaths due to drought are already common events in some areas in the Basin,” LVBC Executive Secretary said.
Dr. Matano averred, in response to some of the climate change challenges, LVBC coordinates Adapting to Climate Change Programme in Lake Victoria Basin (ACC-LVB) implemented in 5 EAC Partner States. Similarly, LVBC developed climate change strategy and Action Plan which provides a range of adaptation options and strategies for states and non-state actors in Lake Victoria Basin. The interventions in Busia and Siaya are aligned to the key adaption options and strategies in the climate change adaption strategies.
Similarly, technologies prioritized by the two countries are in tandem with the overall objective of ACC-LVB project, notably to contribute in reduction of vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change in the Lake Victoria Basin through building climate resilience at both regional, national and local levels.
The LVBC Focal Person in the Ministry of East African Affairs, Republic of Kenya, recommended that participants prioritize technologies and practices with foreseeable potential to maximize impacts and improve local livelihoods. Mr. Joseph Mungere further advised, “prioritize citizens, not the funding agencies.”
Given their proximity to local communities, technicians from the two counties were encouraged to deliver timely and important information to citizens as ultimate end-users of their interventions. According to ACC-LVB, limited delivery of climate related information to key actors—decision-makers and communities in Lake Victoria Basin constitute one of the critical issues the program seeks to address.