Farmers seek solutions amid climate change crisis

By XIE SONGXIN and EDITH MUTETHYA in Makueni, Kenya | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-11-07 07:22
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Cattle are used to pull a cart carrying water at Kasioni village, Makindu, in September. XIE SONGXIN/CHINA DAILY

About a 10-minute drive from Makongeni, Raphael Munyao shared similar observations with Ngunga at Kasioni village. Munyao attributes the situation in the area to deforestation, a rising population, greenhouse gas emissions and high temperatures.

"Unlike several years ago, when we harvested sufficient crops for consumption, and sold the surplus, we now have to buy our food, most of which is imported and very expensive," Munyao said.

He added that villagers now walk about 5 kilometers to access a borehole, because the supply of tap water from a spring is strictly rationed due to falling water levels.

Munyao said many families are unable to educate their children past high school due to a lack of finances, with many of them depending on agriculture for a living.

Ngunga is among the lucky few in the community, as he managed to sink a borehole last year to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change.

His green compound looks totally different to those of his neighbors'-clear evidence of the transformational benefits of a reliable water supply. Ngunga has grown a variety of vegetables, which he sells at the market in Makindu, and he has also planted bananas, maize, pawpaws and legumes, and farms fish.

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