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DROUGHT COPING MECHANISMS IN ARID AND SEMI-ARID LANDS: A CASE STUDY OF CENTRAL DIVISION, ISIOLO DISTRICT, KENYA

Nelly Ngugi Thuranira

Student, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

 

ABSTRACT

The field excursion focused on investigating, identifying, assessing and analyzing the drought coping mechanisms in arid and semi-arid lands Central Division of Isiolo District was chosen as a case study to illustrate the changes that have taken place in the methods used by the local community in coping with ever present drought conditions. Traditional and modern methods are used as drought coping mechanisms. The effectiveness of both categories of methods is discussed, while alternative measures are suggested. The following were the objectives of the field course: To identify the causes of drought in the spatial and temporal variations of drought. To identify the socio-economic and environmental impacts of drought; To identify and to compare the traditional and modern/contemporary methods of coping with drought; To suggest alternative sustainable methods of coping with drought conditions. Data was obtained from both primary and secondary sources. For primary data observation, informal interviews, lectures and discussions were used as collection tools. For secondary data sources tools used to collect data included newspapers, brochures, DDP plans, textbooks and handouts. The investigation revealed that there were both traditional and modern methods of coping with drought in the Division.  However, these could not be fully exploited due to insecurity, time factor, language barrier and poor transport among others. From the information gathered, it was possible to suggest possible recommendation measures which if put in place can reduce vulnerability to drought disaster.  They include; strengthening of the existing early warning systems to capture multi-hazard indicators, establishment of multi-agency disaster rapid response team and strengthening linkages between district and national operation centre.  Other measures will entail establishing of contingency funds at division level to facilitate rapid response to disaster, building capacities of local communities through training, awareness creation on the importance of disaster preparedness and support of income generating activities that diversify household income to reduce vulnerability hazards.


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