Baringo County is endowed with copious underground water, but unequally distributed through the region; yet less than 10% of its arable land receive benefits from water management. Moreover, the county is becoming extremely vulnerable to climate change, communities across the county are progressively dealing with climate unpredictability and weather risks. Dry spells are increasing and significant climate events such as distressing droughts are hitting some parts of the county more often, and there is an extremely crucial need to adapt new sustainable agricultural techniques.Smallholder farmers in the county have to shift focus from animal husbandry to both crop and livestock farming.
In the pilot project farmers use modest irrigation to farm their land. It facilitates farmers to attain a more profitable, reliable and sustainable production, intensify their resilience and alter their livelihoods. In this light, irrigation is very promising in Baringo County as it can promote rural development through food security, poverty alleviation and adaptation to climate change.
Whereas at national level, adaptation and mitigation involves a combination of investments in infrastructure and policy adjustments, more of on-farm adaptation is self-directed and depend on smallholder farmers. For this reason, there is a variety of technologies and good practices that are adapted to climate blows that need to be recorded and scaled up in the county and replicated in other counties. Furthermore, Baringo county is characterized by a wide variety of agro-ecologies and different access modalities to natural resources. These needs to better apprehend and further modify agriculture to guarantee resilience to growing climate hazards.
This pilot project is in collaboration with a self-help group who have come together to address the social-economic problems facing them as a community. They really need agricultural practice for livelihood sustainability among many other things. The Margut Community women will also see to it as big relief as currently they walk long distances looking for water for their domestic use through the water development section of the project.
The community access water from a river which is over 10km away. The river is contaminated by human activities such as bathing, cloth washing and grazing animals hence making its quality poor and unsafe for human consumption. In some homes they have been boiling the water before use which is environmentally costly. Many go back to taking raw water hence becoming victims of water borne diseases. The self-help group consists of 7 members whereas there are 500 households in the area where the pilot project operates who are also benefiting from it directly.