In my family and my local communit access to water is very important. We use water to grow our food, to drink, for our animals, to wash and many other things. If it does not rain our food plants die and we have to walk far distances to get enough water for our children to drink. The last decade we have gotten less and less rain due to climate change.
Picture of me fetching water with my bisycle (picture is taken by Julie Lunde Lillesæter and used in the climate documentary Wind of Change)
Unfortunately we cannot see any quick fix on this big global challenge of climate change and dry rain periods. Therefore we have started to try out and teach each other different kind of adoption methods. Here are some of our methods on water management:
TECHNIQUE WE USE TO SAVE WATER
In our homes we harvest rain water through roofs at our houses and store them in small tanks. The tanks can store water for 3-4 days. During dry season we fetch water in jerry cans using our animals, bicycles and even using our back. We work hard to minimize the usage of water within the family and in our shamba (fields). We dig terraces, plant grass and even shallow dams in our field to so that the water does not just turn into a river when it rains and go away. We even dig shallow dams where that is possible. It is hard work, but very important to make sure that we have enough water for the plants to grow and become food for our children.
Me and school parants collecting water for the big school-water-tank so that our children can get water at school (picture is taken by Julie Lunde Lillesæter and used in the climate documentary Wind of Change)
Three years ago me and 65 local community members built a green house. The idea of the green house was introduced to us by catholic diocese whom supplied us with materials for the green house, first seeds, water tank, drip system and training on how to run the green house.
In the green house we can grow vegetables like tomatoes, onions, kales spinach and carrots. We also grow different maize variety for research on their viability within our community and tree nurseries. Currently we have maize and onions. We have 3000 seedlings ready to be planted at fields belonging to the local schools, chiefs camp, churches and public fields.
My experience is that green house is effective way of producing food in dry areas since its consumption of water is minimal with high yields. Is also an empowerment to farmers because there is participatory technology development (PTD) to members.
Now that we have this one greenhouse together we are learning how to manage a greenhouse, and maybe we in the future can have one greenhouse each. That would have helped us a lot. How ever, getting a greenhouse for each member is a challenge due to lack of financing. Another challenge is that, even though the plants in the green house only needs small amount of water, they still need water. This might be challenging during the drought time for members that live far away from the river.