25 January 2013

Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Horn of Africa

SPONSOR WIRE

The Horn of Africa (HoA), which comprises Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, has an estimated combined population of 210 million people and is one of the world's most food-insecure regions. Most of the inhabitants are pastoralists and agro-pastoralists living on marginalized lands. Poverty, rapid population growth and conflicts are ripe in the region. The recurrent droughts have induced high rates of crop failures, diminished potential livestock grazing lands and result in loss of lives and livelihoods. Read more

The Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Program

The Drought Resilience and Sustainable Livelihoods Program (DRSLP), FEED MY COW, will develop regional systems to alleviate the negative impacts caused by the deteriorating environmental conditions in the Horn of Africa. Mechanisms will be established to enhance the availability of infrastructure for natural resources management (water and pastures) at the regional level (given the mobility of pastoralists across borders) and ensuring stability of the environment as well as the harmonious sharing of the resources in a sustainable manner. Read more

Typical Current Situation

Forces of nature: Unpredictable rainfall patterns and frequent droughts adversely affect natural resources management and the agro-pastoral production systems.

Raging runoff: Limited infrastructure for improved drainage, capture and storage of excess waters results in intermittent floods causing destruction of livelihoods as water returns to the seas.

Drought impacts: Recurrent droughts limit the recovery time of ecosystems &habitats resulting in lack of pasturelands & watering points and ultimately the death of livestock & people.

Flood aftermath: Receding flood waters leave vast eroded lands and washed away topsoils further reducing the fertility of the soil and constraining land productivity.

The AfDB Drought Resilience Program Activities

Water for livestock: Installing infrastructure to provide watering points for livestock ensures a constant supply of water for rehydration and survival particularly in years of recurrent drought.

Rehabilitating land: Rehabilitating land by increasing vegetation cover improves the water retention capacity and expedites the process of enriching soils and bringing land back into productivity.

Community participation: Full engagement and empowerment of communities ensures informed decision-making and enhances their contribution to the improvement of their own livelihoods.

Health services: Improvement of health services for local populations and livestock is essential for the well-being of society and livestock.

Typical Expected Results

Food processing: Development of agro-industry, to enhance the processing and storage capacity, adds value to produce and contributes to food security during drought or flood years.

Water control: Improved water control and distribution provides water resources where they are needed to sustain life for populations and their livelihoods.

Links to markets: Improved road networks, including both feeder and trunk roads, link populations to markets and services and provide necessary communication channels.

Promised land: A more resilient Horn of Africa with improved human and institutional capacity, adequate infrastructure and productive agro-pastoral systems.

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