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  • SIF - Tana River, Tana Delta, Ijara, Lamu Assessment report May 2013


    Tana River, Tana Delta, Ijara, Lamu,

    Assessment report

    May 2013

    1. Introduction

    SIF has been operating in Ijara district, Garissa county since 2012. As the organization intends to

    expand its operations and in order to address the issues that are relevant to peoples livelihoods,

    there was need to conduct an assessment that would provide information for proposal development

    and lay baseline for future programs.

    SIF then carried out a field assessment between the 22nd of April and the 8th of May 2013 in Ijara

    district, south of Garissa County, Tana River and Tana Delta districts of Tana River County and Lamu


    The general objective of the assessment was to get a comprehensive understanding of the local

    development dynamics, challenges and perspectives in the sub region in order to propose relevant

    programs towards livelihoods resilience building and livelihoods diversification as well as natural

    resources management and disaster risk reduction. A specific objective was to assess the WASH

    situation specifically in order to propose WASH programming.

    This report presents in a first part, the findings of the assessment and in a second part,

    recommendations and potential programmatic areas in which SIF could involve itself.

    2. Context

    This south-east part of Kenya comprising the south of Garissa

    county, Tana River County and Lamu county is classified in the

    Arid Lands of Kenya (except for Lamu) but has not received much

    donor attention compared to other parts such as Turkana,

    Marsabit, Wajir and the overused term of Mandera triangle yet,

    the issues at stake are the same: recurrent droughts within the

    overall climate change context, the survival of the pastoralist

    livelihood in the context of increased human and livestock

    demographic pressure and environmental degradation; access to

    safe drinking water and basic sanitation in the settlements. Ijara

    district finds itself furthermore marginalized for being far from its

    regional administrative centre Garissa, and for bordering Somalia

    where on the other side we find Al-Shabaabs stronghold, theatre

    of the Kenya forces military operations.

    Fig.1 Arid and Semi arid lands of Kenya

  • SIF - Tana River, Tana Delta, Ijara, Lamu Assessment report May 2013


    To these general issues we can add more specific ones to this sub region such as floods along Tana

    River causing temporal displacement of people and damages to infrastructures more or less on a

    yearly basis; conflicts between communities from different ethnic backgrounds leading at times -

    most often during electoral periods - to deadly clashes such as the ones which happened in Tana

    Delta between late 2012 and early 2013; the economic development of Tana Delta through large

    scale commercial irrigation and the future implementation of Lamu port. This last issue may change

    greatly the physical, economic and social landscape in the region for the next decade.

    3. Approach and methodology

    The team was composed of the program coordinator for Kenya/Somalia, the program manager for

    Ijara, one food security enumerator and one hygiene

    promoter. The approach for the assessment has been

    more of qualitative information collection rather than

    quantitative data collection in order to get an holistic

    understanding of the context, challenges and issues at

    stakes whether at the district level whether at the

    community level. Guidelines had been elaborated

    prior to the assessment in order to have a checklist of

    the information to be collected.

    Focus group discussions have been conducted at

    community level1. Key Informant Interviews have also

    been conducted 2 among GoK and humanitarian

    stakeholders as well as community stakeholders or

    simple community members. Ad hoc site visits were

    also made 3 . Three market surveys have been

    conducted in Hola, Garsen and Masalani and 10 HH

    have been interviewed in order to get data on source

    of income, debts and expenditures patterns as well as

    hygiene and sanitation practices. Fig. 2 Garsen regional livestock market place

    1 Kilelengwani, Tana Delta with agropastoralist Orma Community; Boni Junction, Ijara with Farmers/Hunters &

    Gatherers Boni community; Hulugho, Ijara with pastoralist Abdallah community 2 District Commissioner of Tana Delta; District Agricultural Officer Tana Delta; Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS)

    Tana Delta Officer; Lamu Drought Management Officer (DMO); County Secretary for Lamu; Former chief of Koreni, Lamu - Abdallah community; Businessman in Koreni; Wasanya Elder, Koreni, Lamu; Kamba farmer in Koreni; Secours Islamique France (SIF) Hygiene promoter in Masalani Ijara; Pastoralists in Rahma, Ijara; Farmer in Kilindini, Tana River Farming Pokomo community; German Agro Action (GAA) Program manager, Hola, Tana Delta; Tana River County DMO; Chief of Wachu location and assistant chiefs of Kurawa and Oda sublocations, Chief of Hubbi location, Hulugho division; Elder from Ilkambere location, Hulugho division; Elder from Sarira location Hulugho division 3 Garsen, Masalani and Hola Market places; Kilelengwani and Charra destroyed houses; Farming Self help

    Group in Hola producing fodder supported by VetAid ; flooded farms on Tana River, Kipendi, Wenje; Boni farms in Boni Junction, Ijara.

  • SIF - Tana River, Tana Delta, Ijara, Lamu Assessment report May 2013


    4. Findings

    A. Arid Lands of Tana River and Ijara the emptied spaces

    vs Tana Delta and Lamu the attraction pole

    The pastoral areas of Tana River and Ijara dry lands have become more and more unreliable for

    livestock keeping. This is mainly due to the slow but surely depletion of its rangelands caused by a

    combination of factors such as erratic rainfalls patterns in one hand and overgrazing livestock

    population in the other hand. The livestock populations of Tana River and Ijara have been depending

    on Tana Delta and Lamu wet rangelands respectively during the dry season and this dependency has

    been increasing over the time. As by now, for example, the herds from Ijara are spending more time

    in Lamu, counting for 8 months of the year, than in Ijara with 4 months of the year spent there only.

    Jan Feb March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct Nov. Dec.

    Lamu Ijara Lamu

    Fig. 3 Somalis Abdallahs Livestock migration seasonal calendar

    Tana Delta and Lamu have seen their population increasing and more land been put into use with

    new settlements of small scale farming from expanding local communities (Bajunis, Swahilis), other

    farmers communities in kenya (Kikuyus, Luos, Kambas) or pastoralists communities (Ormas,

    Abdallahs) settling down there permanently. The Commercial farming in Tana Delta with TARDA4

    irrigated rice schemes5 has also put large portions of formerly grazing land into use. Even if further

    development of Tana Delta with implementation of Jatropha plantations for biofuel and sugarcane

    plantations is yet to happen as the project is at a pilot stage, large portions of land have been

    allocated and have therefore reduced the access to land so, the traditional grazing land has shrunk.

    In Lamu also, grazing areas are being demarcated, fenced and claimed as private ranches more or

    less legally in the context of the prospect of the development of Lamu port. The future Lamu port

    represents a huge force of attraction and the human migration to Lamu is already a phenomenon

    putting the county under pressure as everyone coming in needs a piece of land to settle on and/or

    to cultivate. According to the Drought Management Officer of Lamu, the development of Lamu, if no

    proper planning of Lamu port is done, will be more of a threat than an opportunity: it will become


    As the arid lands of Tana River and Ijara can hardly support its livestock population and the

    traditional dry season grazing areas of Tana Delta and Lamu are shrinking over time, the pressure felt

    in Tana River and Ijara by its own livestock and livestock from the North of Garissa County is being

    transferred as a ripple effect down southwards to Lamu and Tana Delta. This has resulted into a

    drastic reduction of nomadic movements in terms of geographical scope and led into pastoralists

    versus farmers conflicts. The main cause of conflict is land occupation and access to resources water

    and pasture- but this has also been instrumentalized in Tana Delta by local political leaders who, in

    order to win elections planned to wipe out communities other than theirs during election time to

    4 Tana & Athi River Development Authority is a parastatal institution.

    5 2000 Ha of irrigated rice scheme

  • SIF - Tana River, Tana Delta, Ijara, Lamu Assessment report May 2013


    ensure that their voters base remains the most numerous to propel them to victory. Interviewed

    persons reported that people fight everyday: livestock tramples on the farms and animals are being

    slashed. However, in Lamu and Ijara, this kind of incidents are still under control as mechanisms are

    in place to prevent and solve the conflicts: young herders are being