You cannot find a satisfactory solution unless you listen to the people who live with the problem. Through the whole program period of Partners for Resilience, one of our focuses was to help these voices to be heard. To enable people to be at the table where decisions are made, and present their concerns and ideas convincingly and confidently, backed up by knowledge and skills. Here is one such story from Kenya.
Like many other places around the world, climate change is affecting the county of Isiolo which is located in Northern Kenya. Periods of drought are becoming more frequent, and so is water scarcity, resulting in less fertile land and shrinking pastures. With the majority being pastoralists who depend on livestock, inadequate pasture and water leads to competition for limited resources among the communities; and thus, often resulting in conflict.
The County Governments in the ASALs have their development plans in place to implement programs to address these issues. But this is not often done in consultation with the communities who face these challenges every day. Taking advantage of the local institutions such as the Water Resource Users’ Associations (WRUA), which are recognised by the Government entities, the local communities have organized themselves and sought ways to work together with the local Government to find long lasting solutions.
Cordaid, as a member of PfR, partnered with MID-P and capacitated the Water Resource Users’ Associations in Isiolo county to perform in conformity with their role in sustainable and responsive management of available water resources. In addition to their valuable local knowledge, they gained a broader understanding of the prevailing situation from the PfR program. For example, why the climate is changing; what are the knowledge, tools, best practices and approaches available out there to deal with this; how to best lobby and advocate to reach desired goals.
Fully equipped and ready to take relevant actions, the associations recently invited the Isiolo Water Resources Authority for a joint review of the sub-catchment management plan, including proposals for funding of water sources and management through the Water Service Trust Fund.
This is one of the many activities Partners for Resilience undertook to enable and strengthen community voices. The program will end this year, but the knowledge and skills will remain with the communities to lead the process of finding better solutions to water scarcity and be more resilience.
Watch this film to see how Biliqo village is working on finding solutions to deal with the impacts of climate change on their livelihoods; and to know the people who are leading this initiative.