Adoption of integrated approaches to drought resilience for improved livelihoods: A case study of the IGAD region

Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa GWP EAF has contributed to catalysing the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) drought regional investment by mobilizing USD13M to enhance drought resilience of vulnerable communities in the IGAD region

The project is transboundary and therefore, advancing the regional dimensional approach in the activity operations. There is cross-fertilization and learning of innovations amongst the populations and the target audiences in the IGAD region. The cross-border innovative discipline inculcated in the stakeholders is augmenting partnership development and collaboration and hence, increasing the adaptive capacity of the drought affected communities.

Developing drought guidelines and enforcing the existing ones is an approach utilized to implement drought response actions. Some countries have land use plans and guidelines but require amendments to incorporate drought management principles. The stakeholders are enhancing drought resilience by strengthening the monitoring actions to close the gaps. The other approaches include:  Community participation in drought-related actions on the ground, developing pro-community drought adaptation actions, creating timely feedback early warning information and taking early action, conflict resolution through establishment of MOUs and stock route agreement, interface between the decision makers and communities, refocusing on the investments priorities- and making the market based, thought through enterprise development to enhance the stakeholder incomes (Income generation), focused and tailored training in appropriate drought technologies to increase stakeholder capacities in food production for consumption and market, creating linkages between practitioners and researchers on drought-related issues. In addition, the other pathways include establishing women empowerment schemes like providing soft loans or credit to women for their investments, creating avenues targeted towards equal access to information for both women and men provision, and provision of drought-resistant high yielding crop varieties.

In conclusion, the success of the intervention is a cumulative effort of all the stakeholders involved who include international (Adaptation Fund) and regional entities (OSS, IGAD, ICPAC and other agencies), state actors- mainly the governments of Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda: the communities in the targeted sites (mainly the smallholder farmers and pastoralists), other non-state actors who include civil society, research institutions. All these stakeholders are coordinated by GWP EAF and their actions will certainly improve people’s livelihood.