Over the years, community programmes are supplemented through donor support through NGOs or faith-based organisations (FBO's) among others.
Arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) host big numbers of humanitarian organisations due to their susceptibility to resource-based conflicts, food insecurity, high poverty levels, and disease outbreaks. Notably, pro-poor service delivery and growth agendas and policies have been devolved. However, faced with resource constraints, counties’ scope is limited, thus the need for external interventions.
Unfortunately, humanitarian organisations in ASALs focus on short-term programmes instead of fundamental and value-creating long-term strategies. A majority of these organisations prefer technical solutions in place of social infrastructures in resilience building and poverty reduction.
Notwithstanding the perceived weight of the humanitarian field, incidents of food and water insecurity, poor health status, malnutrition, and drought are a regular phenomenon in ASALs.
Besides, inappropriate land-use, deforestation, loss of catchments and riparian zones in high altitude zones, add to environmental degradation and climate change.
Indeed, the vulnerability of the dry lands ecosystems is as a result of the ongoing destruction of the high altitude ecosystems.
Harmful human activities have a pervasive effect on social economic and environmental aspects and also to the spread in desertification.
Absence of counter-strategies on these destructive human activities is a hindrance to restoration initiatives on sustainable land use, reforestation, and reconstruction of water catchment areas.
Nevertheless, no investment, however well-intentioned, can address resilience framework in ASAL communities if the foundations of a reliable and predictable climatic order are nonexistent.
Consequently, reversing human-engineered destruction of the environment will lay a solid foundation on poverty reduction, food, and water security, climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Progressively sustainable flows in our rivers get realised, desertification halted, food production enhanced while resources equitably shared and used.
Wood fuel and charcoal demands for household use stand at 94 percent and 27 percent respectively in rural setups. Not to mention other demands of wood products.
These demands can be supplemented through the adoption of green energy and planting of fast-growing tree species like bamboo while promoting sound land-use and forest recovery strategies.
Meanwhile, the destruction of critical natural establishment is detrimental to the collective wellness of the environment.
It matters less the choice of investments or strategies employed or funds allocated to counter or reverse acts of environmental destruction.
The Pareto principle, also known as the law of vital few, suggests that on many events, roughly 80 percent of the effects comes from 20 percent of the causes.
Though viewed in the context of income and wealth distribution among the population, in an environmental sense, modest percentages of destruction can generate damaging effects to communities and livelihoods as witnessed through weather variations.
Probably prudence in strategy choices and priorities is essential, in addition to resource allocation and utilisation only for intended purposes and to that which guarantees value for money.
With priorities, results can be prompt, and community needs met effectively and efficiently.
Kiragu Kariuki,Nyeri County