Assessing the impact of climate change on food security of communities in Turkana county.
Climate variability and change is increasingly being recognized as a critical challenge to pastoral production systems in the arid and semi-arid rangelands. The projected climate scenarios are expected to aggravate some of the existing vulnerability of natural resourcedependent communities, and likely to impose new risks beyond the range of current experiences. An explicit understanding of households‟ vulnerability to climate variability and adaptation strategies is, therefore, crucial for targeting appropriate resilience interventions in pastoral environments. This study focused on better understanding of climate variability and change impacts on food security, in order to provide insights on pastoralists‟ risk management adaptations at a micro-level. In addition, the study investigated vegetation responses to precipitation anomalies in Turkana County of Kenya. The research study focused on using GIS and remote sensing tools and methods to analyses the impact of vegetation changes on food security as a result of climate change in Turkana County. This is because livestock has been identified as the main resource in this pastoral livelihood zone and the pasture /Vegetation condition reveals essential traits about the food security situation amongst pastoralist. Satellite data, population data, livestock population data, covering period of 30 years where available was recorded and analyzed to reveal trends and impacts of their variances on food security. A sequence of NDVI datasets from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), and precipitation datasets for Turkana County was observed. Findings revealed that below normal rainfall occasioned by climate variability and change is persistent with effects on vegetation greenness and consequently pastures production in Turkana. Overall, the study area shows enhanced green vegetation coverage. From the research is was noted that increasing temperatures and changing rainfall patterns have an impact on the quality of pasture and browse in Turkana County, with the border areas appearing more lush with stronger precipitation responses over time, probably due to the conflict Prone nature of border areas, making them unsuitable as grazing lands. The results will help improve knowledge and understanding of the intricate impact of climate change on food security and hopefully lead to improved decision making in design of polices and measures aimed and protecting vital livelihoods and improving or adapting food security interventions’ in Turkana.
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