Ecosystem-friendly livelihoods for wetland-dependent communities in Kenya

Maurice Ogoma
Publié: 30 juillet 2018
Dernière modification: 01 octobre 2020
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Yala wetland communities are dependent on the ecosystem goods and services offered by the wetland for their livelihoods; mainly small-holder subsistence agriculture. In the recent past, farmers have experienced reduced crop production human, an increase of wildlife conflicts, and continuous drought and floods are accelerating local poverty and food insecurity. In order to reverse some of these effects, we identified and piloted in a participatory process alternative livelihoods that are less wetland-destructive and environmentally friendly. These included agroforestry, sustainable farming and water harvesting techniques that would be sustainable under the changing climatic conditions.


Afrique de l'Est et du Sud
Ampleur de la mise en œuvre
Piscine, lac, étang
Rivière, ruisseau
Terres cultivées
Zones humide (marécage, marais, tourbière)
Écosystème agricole
Écosystèmes d'eau douce
Acteurs locaux
Adaptation au changement climatique
Connaissances traditionnelles
Fragmentation et la dégradtion de l'habitat
L'intégration de la biodiversité
Moyens d'existence durables
Services écosystèmiques
Précipitations erratiques
Hausse des températures
Dégradation des terres et des forêts
Perte de biodiversité
Utilisations conflictuelles / impacts cumulatifs
Manque d'accès au financement à long terme
Manque d'autres possibilités de revenu
Manque de capacités techniques
Manque de sensibilisation du public et des décideurs
Manque d'infrastructures
Manque de sécurité alimentaire
Chômage / pauvreté
Objectifs de développement durable
ODD 1 - Pas de pauvreté
ODD 2 - Faim "zéro"
ODD 3 - Bonne santé et bien-être
ODD 6 - Eau propre et assainissement
ODD 13 - Mesures relatives à la lutte contre les changements climatiques
ODD 15 - Vie terrestre
Objectifs d’Aichi
Objectif 1: Sensibilisation accrue de la biodiversité
Objectif 2: Valeurs de la biodiversité intégrées
Objectif 5: Perte d'habitat réduite de moitié ou diminuée
Objectif 6: Gestion durable des ressources vivantes aquatiques
Objectif 7: Agriculture, aquaculture et sylviculture durable
Objectif 10: Ecosystèmes vulnérables au changement climatique
Objectif 14: Services des écosystèmes
Objectif 15: Restauration et la résilience des écosystèmes
Objectif 17: Stratégies de la biodiversité et des plans d'action
Cadre de Sendai
1: Réduire nettement, au niveau mondial, d’ici à 2030, la mortalité due aux catastrophes.
2: Réduire nettement, d’ici à 2030, le nombre de personnes touchées par des catastrophes.
3: Réduire, d’ici à 2030, les pertes économiques directes dues aux catastrophes en proportion du produit intérieur brut (PIB).
4: Réduire nettement, d’ici à 2030, la perturbation des services de base et les dommages causés par les catastrophes aux infrastructures essentielles, y compris les établissements de santé ou d’enseignement, notamment en renforçant leur résilience.


Yala wetlands, Lake Victoria, Kenya


Environmental challenges:

The solution addresses continuous destruction of wetland vegetation through wetland encroachment and livelihood activities such as uncontrolled wetland farming, burning of papyrus vegetation, unsustainable papyrus harvesting, overgrazing on wetland areas during drought. Other challenges addressed include overfishing and human setllement on wetland habitats, sand harvesting along river banks and papyrus wetland areas and poaching.


Social challenges:

The solution also addresses food insecurity among the local people, human-wildlife conflicts and hunger.


Economic challenges:

The solution addresses poverty among the local people by promoting alternative livelihood activities that are sustainable and income generating.


Local communities of all genders: women, youth and men

Comment les blocs constitutifs interagissent-ils entre eux dans la solution?

Stakeholders can be used to identify areas that need resilient and sustainable livelihood activities. Through stakeholder engagement, livelihoods and climate challenges are identified and potential solutions reached, leading to the development of a community-based action plan. The action plan can be adopted and sustainable livelihood options ranked.

Stakeholders identify the best places for learning and exchange.

Stakeholders are identified to attend the exchange visits and learn practically how livelihood resilience activities have worked elsewhere.

Exhange visits help stakeholders develop skills that are used locally to build up on sustainable activities that increase resilience with respect to agricultural production and biodiversity conservation.


  • Three (3) community based climate adaptation action plans (CBAP) developed to guide implementation of challenges in wetland agricultural landscapes including human-wildlife conflicts, flooding and drought.
  • Three (3) climate and ecosystem-friendly livelihoods identified: agroforestry, sustainable water harvesting and sustainable farming. Training manuals developed and used to train more than 90 community members in three (3) villages.
  • New water well sunk in Nyadorera village to support small scale irrigation and provide watering point for community members during dry seasons directly benefiting ten (10) households and helping in reducing human-wildlife conflicts in Yala wetlands area.
  • Woodlot established, water harvesting tank provided at Barolengo Sec. School to provide water for irrigating seedlings during dry spells.
  • 500m2 agroforestry woodlot established as windbreak for protection (crop and buildings) against strong winds and to provide refuge for some local biodiversity. The woodlot also planted with multiple benefit trees (e.g. fruits, firewood, poles) for community use.
  • Community well rehabilitated, secured by fencing providing water to 15 households during drought hence reducing human-wildlife conflicts


Maurice Ogoma

Wetlands in Lake Victoria and Kenya at large have been targeted for human and economic development by the local communities, who depend on them almost entirely as source of their livelihoods. I was raised up in such a family and my parents drew wetland resources such as fish, papyrus reeds, and were depending on the rich soil in the wetland areas for seasonal farming. However, the once productive Yala wetlands have been witnessing crop destruction from wild animals like wild pigs, prolonged drought periods and frequent flooding, all of which negatively affect the traditional livelihoods. During these periods, croplands are being destroyed, people have poor access to clean water for domestic and livestock use, and increasingly using inorganic fertilizers in farms close to the wetlands. This project has turned tables for the participating families and the water wells that used to run dry in the village have been rehabilitated to provide water for the families. The agroforestry woodlot is also providing a haven for small wildlife species e.g. mongoose, rats. mice etc. on land that used to lie fallow.The local Barolengo secondary school was provided with a water storage tank to water seedlings, which are planted by students in the compound during drought. The use of certified drought tolerant cassava and sweet potato crops have now been replicated by farmers locally to ensure food security among local households.

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Maurice Ogoma Ecofinder Kenya

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Ecofinder Kenya
Ecofinder Kenya