Rising severity and frequency of droughts and floods, unprecedented emergence of pests and diseases, increased land degradation, and variations in temperature and rainfall have had immense impacts on communities and value chains in arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya. This has led to instability of food systems, poor quality of life and increased vulnerability of pastoral communities to shocks and stress.
The authors examined the risk of climate-related impacts in four arid and semi-arid counties (Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana), studying eight value chains based on their viability under current conditions and their contributions to livelihoods and community well-being: pasture and fodder, livestock, bee, gum and resin, aloe, poultry, mango, and beadwork.
Their findings suggest that the anticipated increased in temperature and decreases in rainfall will exacerbate water and heat stress, adversely impacting crop growth, animal productivity and yields overall. At the same time, overall understanding of the climate change risks in nature-based value chains remains low among the rural population, who also happen to be the most susceptible to significant changes in climatic conditions.
To manage these climate risks, pastoral communities need greater access to climate information, financial services and market information in order to address long-term root causes of vulnerability in these communities and promote value chains that are resilient to climatic changes.
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