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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters on drought in Kenya

This year’s drought in Kenya was first reported in January 2011, but the situation has since worsened. In June, the Kenyan government declared a national disaster. Other countries in the region are also affected. Different parts of Kenya have suffered periodic droughts over the last few years. One way that farmers are coping is by changing the crops they plant, for example by shifting from water-hungry maize to the more drought-resistant cassava.  Such forward-looking planning can help farmers reduce their vulnerability to drought and improve their chances of producing enough food for their families, even when rain is scarce.

Read some recent news items:

-From UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization: Drought in Horn of Africa threatens millions

http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/80157/icode/

-From Kenya’s Daily Nation: Kenya: 3.5 Million People in Urgent Need of Relief Food As Drought Worsens http://allafrica.com/stories/201106130656.html

-From the UN News Centre: Drought-hit Kenyan herders appeal for help to salvage emaciated livestock http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38661&Cr=drought&Cr1=  

Here are two recent stories from Farm Radio Weekly on drought:

East Africa: Pastoralists survive drought by adapting (FRW 110, May 2010). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/05/10/2-east-africa-pastoralists-survive-drought-by-adapting-daily-nation-irin/

Mali and Niger: Dealing with drought (FRW 117, June 2010). http://weekly.farmradio.org/2010/06/28/1-mali-and-niger-dealing-with-drought-irin-afp/

Farm Radio International has produced some very informative scripts about farmers adapting to the climate in drought-prone areas:
Changing farming production in Africa to adapt to climate change (Package 84, Script 14, August 2008)
Farmers have important knowledge about weather and environmental change – Part I: Learning about local signs of drought (Package 75, Script 5, June 2005)
Farmers have important knowledge about weather and environmental change – Part II: Preparing for drought (Package 75, Script 6, June 2005)
These Crops will Help you Through the Drought (Package 54, Script 9, January 2000)
Choosing Crops for Drought-Prone Areas (Package 73, Script 3, January 2005)
Sekedo, a drought resistant sorghum for Karamoja (Package 84, Script 1, August 2008)

Perhaps farmers’ groups or other organizations in your community are involved in interesting drought resilience work. If your radio station broadcasts to an area that is currently facing drought-related food shortages, seek out stories of communities or local organizations (such as farmers’ groups) that are working together to adapt to drought. Find out what they have done to improve their food security, including adopting alternative livelihoods, and share these stories to inspire others.

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