small green seedling in a field of dry cracked soil

‘During Droughts, Pivot to Agroecology’: Q&A With Soil Expert at the World Agroforestry Centre

March 4, 2023 | Source: Regeneration International | by Kang-Chun Cheng

WESTERN TURKANA, Kenya—Driving across Northern Kenya’s Turkana County, the seemingly boundless terrain of sand dunes, dusty brushes and hard, dry soil makes it hard to imagine anyone could farm and eke a living out here. As Kenya and the Horn of Africa are confronted by the fifth consecutive failed rainy season since September 2020—the region’s worst drought in four decades—around 22 million people (roughly the population of Taiwan or Sri Lanka) are food insecure, says a U.N. World Food Programme report released last month.

In Kenya, the number stands at 4.4 million as of December 2022, with children needing acute treatment for malnutrition on the rise.

The numbers and immense toll on pastoralists and agro-pastoralists, who rely on both crops and livestock, grow starker still: their animals have been dying en masse with, 2.5 million livestock deaths recorded by the Government of Kenya, and entire communities pushed to pursue different livelihoods as traditional means and resources fail.