Friday March 5, 2021

In Kenya, the devastating effects of drought continue to plague communities. Over a quarter of the economy is dependent on agriculture and the effect of poor rainy seasons on livestock and crops has been staggeringly high.

With the impact on crops and livelihoods, families are facing food shortages, with malnutrition putting people’s lives at risk. Sadly, a total of 3.4 million people are facing food shortages and an uncertain future.

Across Kenya, malnutrition is currently the biggest cause of death amongst children under the age of five. A staggering 369,000 children in Kenya suffer from acute malnutrition and 1 in 3 suffer from stunted growth.

With climate-related and natural disasters threatening communities, here at Islamic Relief, we’re helping farmers in Kenya become increasingly resilient to the effects of climate disasters such as drought.

We’re ensuring farmers can maintain a strong sustainable income without the need for financial assistance or emergency aid.


Islamic Relief: Helping communities in Kenya to adapt their livelihoods

Harvesting tomatoes in Rhamu, Mandera (north-eastern Kenya).

Alhamdulillah, considerable progress has already been made in improving agricultural productivity through advances in agricultural practices, the development of water resources and increased access to irrigation.

We’ve been supporting the introduction of irrigated farming and other technological innovations in arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya to improve the livelihoods of affected communities. This has helped those relying on food aid to become self-sufficient.

We’ve been working with farmers in Mandera country (north-eastern Kenya) to adopt climate-smart technological innovations, including solar-driven irrigation systems that promote food production using less water and energy.

Compared to the alternative diesel-powered pumps, solar-powered technology provides a cost-effective, long-lasting irrigation solution with minimal maintenance and repair, saving about 80% of water used in furrow irrigation.

The Gumarey Farmers’ Group, from Rhamu is among the first groups to have secured an agro-solar irrigation kit with the support of Islamic Relief’s Micro-Finance unit.

Alhamdulillah, the kit was installed in their one and half acre of land and a shallow well was dug to ensure sufficient water for the tank to efficiently farm using the agro-solar technology.

This was done through the guidance of the Islamic Relief team in Kenya team and technicians. In their first season, we provided training to the farmers through the Ministry of Agriculture, to increase the farmers’ knowledge and skills in operating the technology.

This new technology has enabled the team to plant various high-value crops including tomatoes, onions, watermelon, pepper and spinach so they can maintain a stable livelihood.


Halima: Facing a more secure future

Halima happily selling vegetables at her small grocery shop.

Halima is one of 20 members of the Gumarey Farmers’ Group benefiting from this new agro-solar technology.

The sole breadwinner for five children, Halima was previously a subsistence farmer planting maize and cowpeas for family consumption and livestock feed. Since joining the Gumarey Farmers’ Group, she is now an Agribusiness farmer, producing high-value crops.

Despite ongoing drought and pest attacks, the farming group successfully produced and harvested 150kg onions, 850kg tomatoes and 2,000kg watermelons.

At the peak of harvesting, the farmers accumulated over €1,500 in total sales including: onions (€75), tomatoes (€500) and watermelons (€1,000). The group was also able to repay the loan it had been given to buy drought-resistant seeds by using the profits from the sale of produce.

Thanks to Islamic Relief, Halima has been able to increase her sources of income from herding cattle, mat making and selling groceries from Gumarey Farm outside her house to provide for her family. Alhamdulillah, the family’s lives have changed for the better as they now have a sustainable source of income with very minimal costs.

Halima is, in fact, now the most resilient and determined member of the farming group:

 I want to change mine and my children’s lives by farming using the new technology. With commitment, determination and hard work, I believe I will start a new chapter in our lives. I can see a prosperous life ahead

It’s thanks to your generous donations that farmers such as Halima have been able to create a stable living for themselves, despite the challenges of climate change.

We’re committed to integrating climate-smart initiatives into our development projects to build resilient communities, improve food security, help conserve the environment and enable communities to generate a sustainable source of income.

Thank you for your continued support which of course makes all of this possible.

© Copyright 2024 Islamic Relief Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved.