In 2022 St. Martin CSA in partnership with Fondazione Fontana Onlus and Provincial Autonomous Trentino launched a 1-year Emergency Response Project in Laikipia County to respond to the effects of the drought. The project adopted a twin-track approach which requires immediate humanitarian assistance to end food crises but also long-term support to limit future shortages. In this approach, there is an emphasis on combining long-term interventions to address the root causes of food insecurity with short-term action to alleviate suffering and loss of lives. This project adopts a comprehensive programme to enable poor, food-insecure households to meet basic household needs in food, education and health care and move simultaneously on the twin track of bringing about sustainable long-term improvements in their livelihood. One of the long-term strategies is training community volunteers as Sustainable Livelihood Champions to support their communities understand and adapt to changes in climate.
The project is introducing the champions to the concept of climate variability and climate change, the impact of climate change on local livelihoods, climate adaptation and sustainable livelihoods. Since the livelihoods of the majority of the residents are connected to agriculture, we are also introducing them to the concept and principles of climate-smart agriculture. This empowerment has already ignited immense interest among project participants. “We have seen desolate fields, drying rivers, empty wells, dying livestock at a magnitude that we have not witnessed in decades. We have to rethink what we have sustainably done over the years and how we have done it”, Lolukio, Sustainable Livelihood Champion. We are empowering Sustainable Livelihood Champions to think globally as all humanity needs to come together in the fight against climate change but to act locally now, even though we understand that greater responsibility lies with those who have contributed most to climate change. The champions understand that every minute spent on a blame game means another life lost!
Upon empowerment, the champions will facilitate conversations with their communities through a self-help group approach framework on how individuals and communities can mitigate, cope and adapt to climate change. We will seek development partners who support these community initiative