A bit about IAS Denmark
IAS Denmark is dedicated to saving lives and driving transformative change through emergency aid and humanitarian development. Working closely with local partners in stable and challenging environments, especially in Central Africa and the Horn of Africa, IAS Denmark pioneers initiatives for aid, development, and human rights. Guided by a biblical foundation, they engage in humanitarian aid, long-term development, self-empowerment, and support for the persecuted, providing hope and opportunities to those in need. With a focus on compassion and lasting impact, IAS Denmark is shaping a future marked by positive change.
Addressing Climate Disasters Through Short-Term Humanitarian Interventions
IAS Denmark is working with local partners to combat the effects of climate change and build resilient and adaptive communities. IAS Denmark has been working with communities effected by climate change and climate disasters through three main strategies. First, IAS Denmark responds to climate disasters with humanitarian interventions that address immediate needs of local communities who are suffering due to the impacts of climate change. Climate-related disasters can include drought, unpredictable rains, and flooding. Droughts cause severe losses of harvest, livestock and depletion of water sources. Climate disasters require immediate action to deal with the eminent negative effects of climate change. For example, IAS Denmark assisted communities in Borena, southern Ethiopia, who were effected by severe loss of harvest and livestock following a significant drought through our partner in Ethiopia, LMI Ethiopia. The project provided emergency food assistance for 3980 people, where more than half of those who received assistance were children.
The prolonged droughts in the Horn of Africa in 2022 affected many countries and communities. IAS Denmark, through partnership with Free Pentecostal Fellowship Kenya (FPFK), provided humanitarian assistance to over 21000 people living in Turkana, Kenya over a 12-month period. Not only was this area suffering from a loss of harvest and livestock due to the drought, but the prolonged droughts had resulted in 80% of the water sources in in the area drying up completely. In addition to providing food assistance, the project rehabilitated several water points and boreholes in the local area, as well as provided training for water committee members, so that the community could continue to benefit from safely managed drinking water even after the project was completed.
Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya
In the face of escalating climate challenges, fostering resilience within communities is vital. IAS Denmark embraces this mission, directing our efforts towards empowering local communities to combat increasing impacts of climate change.
Tharaka-Nithi County faces increasingly erratic rain patterns, resulting in prolonged dry spells and heightened drought risks. The majority of households, who are reliant on subsistence agriculture, now face escalated rates of crop failure and greater risk of famine. In response to this crisis, funded by the Center for Church-Based Development in Denmark, IAS Denmark and IAS Kenya are championing a project that began in 2020 —equipping and supporting 1500 households and key institutions with the knowledge to build resilience and adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.
Our multi-pronged strategy is the cornerstone of sustained resilience. We concentrate on enhancing water harvesting and resources, imparting valuable training on improved livestock practices, bolstering farmer associations, providing guidance on establishing tree nurseries, conducting advocacy training to raise awareness of climate change impacts, and training community members on strategies to withstand the changing climate.
The initial phase of our project, undertaken in 2020 and 2021, focused on the meticulous de-silting of an earth dam in Tharaka, reinforcing infrastructure, and establishing accessible points for the local community.
Our work in Tharaka-Nithi County, IAS Denmark, in collaboration with our local partner, IAS Kenya, extends a transformative hand to farming groups and associations. One such association is the Manduru Networking Group—a testament to the impact of our commitment to improved livelihoods, diversification, and financial sustainability to increase resilience to climate change. Through our sustained support, including a grant for acquiring goats and comprehensive training in table banking and income-generating activities, the Manduru Networking Group has not only diversified its livelihoods but has also fortified its ability to weather climate shocks.
Recently, the group delved into the realm of tree nurseries—a venture made possible through dedicated training and support. These nurseries, nurtured by the hands of the Manduru Networking Group, yield seedlings destined for community spaces, such as the local primary school, members’ homes, and nearby markets. The benefits are manifold; beyond the tangible advantages of shade, nutrition, reforestation and erosion control during rainy seasons, the group has discovered a sustainable source of income by selling these trees in local markets.
Climate resilience is a vital cornerstone of sustainable development, embodying the capacity to foresee, endure, and recover from environmental shocks. Yet, given the evolving challenges posed by global climate issues, there is a pressing need for an intensified focus on climate adaptation. Adaptation, in essence, is the human-driven process of modifying our ways to better thrive in new environments. Recognizing the urgency, IAS Denmark, in collaboration with partner IAS Kenya, is spearheading a climate change adaptation project. Funded by the Danish Civil Society in Development (CISU), this initiative unfolds in the arid landscapes of Tharaka-Nithi County, where local farmers grapple with the profound impacts of climate change.
This pilot project sets to empower 1090 farmers with enhanced climate change adaptation strategies. The keys to achieving this lie in a multi-faceted approach. The project prioritizes the adoption of drought-tolerant crops, enhancing livestock production through training and the provision of drought-resistant fodder crops, and promoting the knowledge and utilization of rainwater harvesting technologies. These measures offer farmers the flexibility to adapt to evolving rainfall patterns by expanding their water storage capacities.
Moreover, the project seeks to fortify climate change adaptation by fostering vertical integration. Recognizing that a unified approach to climate challenges leads to the widespread adoption of sustainable practices, the project engages stakeholders at all levels. A pivotal aspect of this endeavor is the close partnership with the local Tharaka University. This collaboration extends beyond routine interactions, delving into the realms of locally focused climate change research.
Tharaka University, with its significant research focus on dryland farming and natural resource management, and a commitment to innovation, is an essential partner in the project’s quest for knowledge-driven adaptation. The research outcomes hold the promise of solutions, specifically designed to address the challenges faced by Tharaka-Nithi County and similar geographic regions grappling with the impacts of climate change.