Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in Turkana County. It creates more than 74% of household incomes and employs more than 45% of the population.
Most farmers rely on pastoralism and rain-fed agriculture. This makes them more vulnerable to climate change and variability.
The effects of climate change in Turkana County include unpredictable rainfall, extreme rainfall, frequent and prolonged dry spells, and increased daytime temperatures.
Climate hazards that have been observed in the county include drought, floods, and intense rainfall. These hazards pose a growing threat to the agricultural sector.
Drought and heat stress are major threats to Turkana County that often result in loss of pasture, starving livestock, drying water sources, and conflict among pastoralists over resources.
Heavy rains in the Mt. Elgon and West Pokot regions of the county and intense rainfall over short periods of time create flooding. Onfarm adaptation strategies include conservation agriculture, rainwater harvesting, fodder conservation, and planting early-maturing and drought-tolerant crops as well as drought-resistant and high-value livestock breeds.
Off-farm adaptation strategies include education and research on climatesmart agriculture practices, early warning systems and climate-based advisories, extension services, livestock and crop insurance, afforestation, and reforestation.
Women and youth contribute significantly to certain value chains. It is therefore important to promote the involvement of women and youth, and support their economic gains, decision-making powers, and participation.
Inadequate resources and poor coordination between different institutions in has undermined Turkana County’s ability to adapt to climate change.
The establishment of community action groups and the support of governmental institutions and stakeholders has empowered Turkana’s farmers to help protect the environment and use natural resources sustainably.