Adaptation to climate change in North-Eastern Kenya

Project description

Title: Territorial approach to climate change adaptation (EKF)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kenya
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
Overall term: 2014 to 2019


The Turkana and Marsabit regions in northern Kenya are among the least developed areas in the East African country. More than 90 per cent of the roughly 1.2 million residents live below the absolute poverty line. The majority of the population is dependent on food aid. Due to the arid climate and lack of natural resources, the main source of livelihood for people in the two counties is nomadic animal husbandry. Climate change, however, is leading to increasingly frequent droughts and unpredictable precipitation patterns, resulting in greater scarcity of natural resources. This increases competition within the expanding population for the remaining grazing areas and water resources, and exacerbates existing conflicts. A growing number of people are no longer able to cope with the prevailing economic system. Livelihoods and food security are increasingly threatened because the natural resources linked to food security are not being sustainably managed in the counties.


Women, men and children in the selected target groups sustainably manage the natural resources that are essential for ensuring food security. This includes nomadic pastoralists, semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists and settled residents from sub-counties in Marsabit and Turkana in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid northern region, as well as pastoralists from other ethnic groups that temporarily pass through the region with their herds.


GIZ is supporting Kenyan ministries at national and county level, as well as their local administrative structures and advisory services, in implementing both the Country Programme Paper on Ending Drought Emergencies in the selected counties and the respective integrated county development plans. The project ensures that activities are carried out in a way that takes local contexts into account and addresses the needs of both men and women and the different sectors of the population. It works to defuse latent conflicts, particularly those associated with competition over the use of resources.

The strategies developed by the Drought Resilience in Northern Kenya project are jointly piloted with the target groups, and their environmental, economic and social sustainability is assessed. Together with the results from a cost-benefit analysis, the different pilot activities are evaluated in order to create a ranking and recommend relevant measures. The project provides policy advice on incorporating these activities into the plans and strategies of the partner ministries at national and county level to ensure broad application. It also aims to establish synergies with other development actors and, if possible, the private sector. This results in the dissemination of climate change adaptation measures and methods.

The project primarily contributes to developing the capacity of target groups to adapt to climate change. To this end, it aims to revitalise and conserve natural resources, develop adapted resource management plans and models, increase value-added activities, improve marketing, and develop alternative sources of income. Access to relevant information, technologies, services and knowledge is also to be improved. The resources of pastoralists, agro-pastoralists and the resident population as well as relevant institutions for agriculture and resource conservation are being strengthened. Peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms are being practised and promoted through dialogue and reconciliation activities. Aside from poverty reduction, the project also contributes to the conservation of water, pastureland, farmland and biodiversity. AMBERO Consulting GmbH is supporting implementation in the various fields of activity, and has been subcontracted to handle the entire commission.