Yatta Farmers Reclaim Wasteland With Seed Balls And Catapults

Kenya's arid and semi-arid areas. GRAPHIC | NMG

By Leopold Obi

Before the residents of Kikule Village in Yatta, a semi-arid region in eastern Kenya, took to planting grass and some species of local trees across their degraded plots, much of the area was wasted and parched.

The better part of the village lay bare, with few patches of shrubs here and there, as deep gullies threaded across the undulating landscape for kilometers on end.

Meanwhile, pasture for livestock disappeared by the day as were the trees meant to put soil erosion and sun’s heat under check.

With surface run-offs constantly washing off top fertile soils from the farms into nearby streams during rainy seasons, many farmers were left struggling for meaningful harvest from the remaining hard puns.

Dominic Kivuvo, the chairman of Kikule village farmers, says the situation was a big headache for the locals who at the time did not have a solution.

“You could hardly see any grass around here. Rivers were also dry and water quite scarce,” he says.

A breakthrough for Kikule villagers would come over two years ago through an initiative known as Dryland Development Programme — a project of the Ministry of Agriculture and World Vision, an international non-governmental organization…Read more>>

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