Friday, February 25, 2011

Could Climate Change Carry the Blame of the Day

Under the Economic Stimulus Package, the government has dug over 27,000 fish ponds in 140 constituencies, stocking them with more than 15 million fingerlings in the past one year.
An extra Sh2.87 billion has been allocated to the Fisheries ministry for additional 100 ponds for each constituency.
Millions of taxpayers money used to dig fish ponds in Nyeri County have gone down the drain because they were sub-standard.
But the Ministry of Fisheries and Development is in the second phase of another 100 fish ponds without any audit of the work previously carried out.
Water drains out of many fish ponds even as heavy rains pound the region while those with water have no fingerlings.
A number of them, especially in Nyeri Town constituency, are dry with overgrown weeds.
The ministry built 200 fish ponds in every constituency. It has now announced in the media plans to build another 100 ponds in the second phase.
The ministry has been allocated Sh2.866 billion this financial year under the Economic Recovery Poverty Alleviation and Regional Development programme for the ponds.
It will also build 300 ponds in every one of the 20 new constituencies countrywide.
The ministry’s public relations officer, Mr Patrick Odongo, acknowledges there was a shortage of fingerlings that left many ponds without fish.
“Ministry officials were misled by the committees in the constituencies in the larger Nyeri District,” Mr Odongo says.

The question is, several of this ponds have dried up all over the country and especially in Nyanza province, could this be due to the effects of climate change or sub standard ponds construction!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Taking Farming as a Business

As much as statistics indicate that most youths have moved to the city in such for white collar jobs, Mr. Timothy Obabo proves us different.
During a visit to his farm, we were amazed at the extent of how his farm was encouraging in terms of production and performance.
Alongside me, were some youths and who have kept on reminding me that whatever they learned from this field, changed their opinions towards farming.
Today, Timothy's farm still stands out to be one of the leading farms in this region, he is a youth who is well educated and has been taking on farming as a business for the last 15 years since he came back from the city life.
There is a range of production going on on this farm, Mr. Obabo grows Kales, Cabbages, Tomatoes, Spinach, Paw paw, Pineapple, Bananas, Onions, he has Bees, Chicken and a fish pond just to mention a few; for sure this is a real farmer!
Even though everything might sound so wow here, Mr. Timothy too has his own challenges; in terms of finance, Mr. Obabo is focused in erecting a green house, getting a water pump generator for his daily irrigation and he believes that with this, he will be able cross this ocean of climatic change and losses. Anyone with any idea of how we can support this good course to the better is so much welcomed to contact.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Community Adaptation to Climate Change

Mr. Onono Ligaye is a 73 year old farmer, a member the Alin network; who saw an article on the Baobab Publication, sometimes last year, on runoff water harvesting and conservation and implemented the idea.

From last year December 2010, we have encountered a dry spell and most farmers here are still waiting for the rains. Unlike Mr. Ligaye, he has been using the water from his hand dug reservoir to irrigate his produce.

During an interiew with him, Mr. Ligaye who dwells 4KM away from the center, shared with us the benefits he has encountered since he initiated this project and in the short video, he gives us a message to pass to the rest of the farmers who still depend on rain; To watch the video click:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Accounting for every drop

It is out of the effects of climate change that most farmers in this region have failed to congregate their expected production outcome.

As a centre, our partners and the Alin organization, through publications, multimedia, field visits and through the intermediaries, we have taken the initiative of promoting an understanding of the climate change in terms of concepts, causes, risks and its implications on food security and agriculture after undertaking an expansive agricultural vulnerability assessment.

From the latest observations, it is has dawned into a reality to most farmers that new techniques of production have to be placed on board to encounter this climate alteration.

It is a relief at the rate at which most farmers have prepared their lands in time and are waiting for the first rains and to begin sowing. Can i we dub it 'ukulima pap! '

This kind of idea was not there at the beginning and most of the first rains got wasted in the name of farm preparations.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hosting Proffessor Ogembo

For the month of January 28th, we had the privilege of hosting Professor Onyango Ogembo of the Nairobi University as a guest at the center.

Even though the professor was on his way back to Nairobi when he paid us a courtesy visit, he spared a moment with the youth at the center and shared a lot in terms of career guidance and the importance of this Maarifa Centre.

Most of us were surprised of how much we assumed that we know yet we didn’t. In attendance was the IRD-K Executive Director, Mr. Robert Osano and the governor in waiting Mr. Philip Auko.

From this short talk, I realized the importance of inviting experts frequently for open talks for they psychologically nourishes our know how as a community. A resolution from this, we shall have to invite at least 1 guest a month to share such talks with.