IUCN to build drought resilience in Kenya and Uganda through sound land and water management

A project to build drought resilience through land and water management has been launched by IUCN and will be implemented in Kenya and Uganda. Funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation, the project will target the Lower Tana Sub-Catchment in Kenya and the Upper Aswa-Agago Sub-Catchment in Uganda.  The project builds upon and consolidates the achievements from other related projects that IUCN has implemented or is implementing in the target areas, and will be implemented in partnership with Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) Tana Catchment and Fafi Integrated Development Association (FaIDA) in Kenya; and Directorate of Water Resources Management and Joy Drilling Deliverance Church in Uganda.

Group Photo for the launch meeting in Kenya Photo: Katharine Cross

IUCN is aiming to improve resilience of dryland communities within a river catchment to the impacts of increasingly severe and frequent drought, through strengthened ecosystem management and adaptive capacity. This will involve demonstrating effective resilience building strategies by applying approaches which use and support the natural environment (land and water). This will enable the learning required to scale-up successful approaches including diversification of livelihoods and markets and improving natural and engineered infrastructure around water points.

The work will also involve strengthening natural resource governance through capacity building of local organizations and institutions; and sharing experiences and lessons across sectors and at different levels. 

Two events to launch the events were held in Lira, Uganda and in Garissa, Kenya.  The two events were attended by representatives of government ministries and departments working on agriculture, livestock, water and environmental management, representatives from the local communities, Global Water Initiative (GWI) partners. During the launch, awareness of the project was raised and this will subsequently enhance their understanding, participation and ownership during its implementation.  Stakeholders were also able to discuss the proposed project strategy, work plan, implementation and coordination arrangements.

Resilience to drought is the capacity to cope with adverse impacts and to adapt to shifting ecological, social and economic environments. The recurrence of drought in the Eastern Africa, driven naturally or with the addition of climate change means that the ability of populations and ecosystems to recover is changing. Pastoralism and agro-pastoralism are vital livelihood strategies that are part of building resilient societies.  They provide the most adaptable and sustainable ways of living in such an environment. However, people’s abilities to cope are weakening acutely as the impacts of natural disasters – and specifically drought – have become frequent and severe in the region. Vulnerabilities have been made worse by degradation of land and water and loss of effective institutions for natural resource management.

For more information, please contact: Technical Coordinator, Water and Wetlands - katharine.cross@iucn.org, or Technical Coordinator, Drylands - sarah.gibbons@iucn.org

Work area: 
Water
Location: 
East and Southern Africa
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