Curbing impacts of drought in the Eastern African Subregion

FAO provides cash and livestock support to 70,000 agropastoralists in Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda

Project Close-out workshop participants group photo, Nanyuki town, Kenya. ©FAO/Kenya

FAO, through the support of the Government of Japan, has reached more than 70,000 vulnerable pastoral and agropastoral communities in Djibouti, Kenya, and Uganda with livelihood support.

The Eastern African Subregion experienced its fifth failed rainy season and faced one of the worst droughts in 2023.

It is in response to this dire situation that the FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa, through the generous support of the Government of Japan, implemented a project titled: – Mitigating the impact of drought for the most vulnerable pastoral and agropastoral communities in Djibouti, Kenya, and Uganda.

The significant contributions of the project were highlighted at the close-out workshop held on 20 March 2024 in Nanyuki town, Kenya, in the presence of representatives from the Government of Kenya, project beneficiaries, FAO technical staff and partner organizations.

In remarks made at the workshop, Felix Maiyo, Deputy Governor of Baringo County in Kenya, thanked FAO and the people of Japan for affording technical expertise, resources, and global experience to help address food security challenges in his and other counties in Kenya. He also underscored the need to strengthen such initiatives and the critical role of partnerships in such interventions by saying: “Building community resilience and successful implementation of community empowerment programmes require a multifaceted approach and collaboration with key stakeholders.”

Hamisi Williams, Assistant FAO Representative in Kenya, appreciated the successes of the programme supported by the Government of Japan for vulnerable communities, reminding that the project came in March 2023, a time when more than two million people were facing acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 and above) many of them in the Arid and Semi-arid Lands (ASALs) such as Baringo and Samburu. Williams noted that despite the successes of this programme, there is still a significant need to support vulnerable populations and build their resilience through strengthening early warning systems and anticipatory actions, investing in water infrastructure, and promoting climate-smart crop and livestock production. Williams further stressed FAO’s commitment to improving the livelihoods of herders and agropastoral communities.

Six project beneficiaries from Baringo and Samburu counties shared their testimonials on the positive impacts that the project has had on their lives. The experience-sharing and lessons learned from implementing partners provided recommendations for future design and implementation of similar projects, emphasizing the need to scale up and have a comprehensive approach that includes livestock health. The workshop participants also witnessed the deworming of small ruminants and interacted with community members during a field visit in Samburu County the following day.