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Agriculture 2017, 7(3), 20; doi:10.3390/agriculture7030020

The Impact of a Warming Micro‐Climate on Muooni  Farmers of Kenya

1
CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE), International Water management Institute (IWMI), Cantonments, Accra PMB CT 112, Ghana
2
Department of Geography, Kenyatta University, Nairobi P.O. Box 43844‐00100, Kenya
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Annelie Holzkämper and Sibylle Stöckli
Received: 26 May 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Options for Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1940 KB, uploaded 9 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Rainfed agriculture has become highly vulnerable to the depleting water resources in most arid and semi‐arid tropics (ASATs) under the effect of climate change. The impact has certainly been very high in Muooni catchment where more than 99% of the natural forest has been cleared. The warming micro‐climate is accelerated by extended deforestation, unsustainable irrigation, and water over‐abstraction in the catchment by eucalyptus and other exotic trees. The dwindling crop yields add to the farmer’s suffering. Farming communities have created various innovative ways of coping with a warming environment to increase their agriculture resiliency. These include, among others, rain water management, reforestation and agro‐forestry. To what extent have these practices been disturbed by the increasing temperatures, and decreasing rainfalls and river discharges in Muooni catchment? This study used statistical forecast techniques to unveil the past, current and future variations of the micro‐climate in Muooni catchment, and relevant factors determining farmers’ vulnerability to drought. Muooni catchment is warming by 0.8 to 1.2 °C in a century as a result of a changing micro‐climate. These changes are mainly driven by deforestation due to the high urbanization rate and agricultural practices in Muooni catchment. Centennial rainfall is subsequently plummeting at 30 to 50 mm while discharges are decreasing from 0.01 to 0.05 m3∙s−1, with unmet water demands of 30% to 95% and above. In view of the current trends of the population growth and urbanization in Muooni, agricultural expansion is seriously threatened if no appropriate policy, extension service and science based emergency measures are put in place by the Government of Kenya. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro‐climate change; climate adaptation; vulnerability to drought micro‐climate change; climate adaptation; vulnerability to drought
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luwesi, C.N.; Obando, J.A.; Shisanya, C.A. The Impact of a Warming Micro‐Climate on Muooni  Farmers of Kenya. Agriculture 2017, 7, 20.

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