Rainwater Harvesting And Management For Improving Agricultural Productivity In Arid And Semi-arid Areas Of Kenya
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Kenya Rainwater Association (KRA) has been working to implement rainwater harvesting and management systems (RHM) and complementary technologies across Kenya since 1994. A founder member of the Greater Horn of Africa Rainwater Partnership (GHARP), KRA works in arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) with poor farmers and local community groups, to help provide access to a sustainable water supply; improve food security; and help farmers develop their livelihoods. In terms of the agricultural product value chain (APVC), KRA’s work focuses on the early part of the chain – production – as well as building the capacity of local communities. The paper discusses KRA’s work in terms of rainwater harvesting (RWH) technologies; environmental conservation methods; the development of viable sustainable livelihoods; and community capacity building to ensure an enhanced skill-set useful for accessing markets. The paper argues that RHM is an essential part of the APVC in ASAL areas of Kenya and that it has the power to improve crop yield and quality; enhance the natural environment; motivate other communities to replicate similar systems; and provide farmers with a solid basis for successfully accessing markets.