Effects of climate change and variability on agricultural activities and the coping strategies in Kajiado North Sub-County
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Climate change and variability is a major threat facing humanity in the 21st century especially to persons living in ASAL ecosystems since these changes threaten food security in these areas. This study was done; i) To determine the perceptions on climate change and variability, ii) to investigate the effects of climate change and variability on agricultural activities and iii) to assess coping and adaptation mechanisms to climate change and variability. Data collection was done using semi structured questionnaire administered to a total of 80 respondents, 50 in Ongata Rongai and 40 in South Keekonyokie based on the population data. SPSS was used to analyze data. From the study, climate change awareness was 90% and this can be attributed to higher levels of education among the sampled respondents. Also, major impacts on agricultural activities were reduced yields in South Keekonyokie (46%) and high food prices (94.4%) in Ongata Rongai. This can be attributed to varying economic activities between the regions. While most of the residents in South Keekonyokie practised small holder farming, Ongata Rongai residents were mostly formally employed. The adaptation measures used also varied depending on the economic activities. Ongata Rongai residents practiced rainwater harvesting (62%) while South Keekonyokie residents used agroforestry and drought tolerant crop varieties (60%). From the study it is clear that the residents are aware of climate change and these changes have had adverse negative impacts on their agricultural activities hence they have certain adaptation measures they use to cope. However majority of them use a single coping strategy and therefore there is need for education and awareness creation on the use of a combination of coping strategies. Further, more research should be done to promote local adaptation mechanisms and encourage alternative livelihoods.

Key words: climate change, climate variability, coping strategies

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