To fight drought, involve communities


According to the latest information from the Meteorological Department, rainfall will be poorly distributed in April, May and June, and this will have a serious impact on agriculture.

No county reported normal rainfall in December 2016, meaning there is a significant vegetation deficit in the arid and semi-arid lands (Asals)

There is therefore need for county governments and their partners to scale up relief activities to save affected populations.

If applied well in Asals, the concept of participatory development could reduce the problems currently being experienced and eliminate the blame games.

The recent devolution conference in Naivasha highlighted milestones achieved in the counties.

Although communities are allowed to participate in the development of County Integrated Development Plans, the majority are left out in implementation.

Participatory development includes all stakeholders in the entire development process to build dialogue among various actors.

This involves considering local views and indigenous knowledge, which includes traditional early warning mechanisms that are crucial in disaster management.

In case of drought or crop failure due to the unpredictable impact of climate change, there can be no blame because all stakeholders, including grassroot communities, are involved in the planning.

The communities become actors instead of just beneficiaries and this helps to correct any inadequacies.

To achieve more in devolution, it is imperative to embrace participatory development, which involves more than asking people in drought-stricken areas what they need and then providing it.

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