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10 ways donors can support African governments on rural land rights

10 ways donors can support African governments on rural land rights | Sand dam | Scoop.it

News of soaring demand for land in Africa and the strain this places on rural men and women is not new. Nor is it news that some of the land governance systems on the continent have not sufficiently protected rural communities in the face of heightened demand for land.

But at the conclusion of the first African Land Policy Conference on Nov. 14, the momentum behind land policy reform on the continent is strong and clear.

 

Just last week, the Land Policy Initiative — a joint initiative of the African Union, the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank — launched its Principles for Large-Scale Land-Based Investments, which is certain to spark new policy and laws among African countries at a time when several of them are in the process of historic reforms to their land tenure laws and policies.

 

Rwanda, for example, has documented land rights for its rural women and men for the first time. Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010 which protects women’s rights to land and family resources. Uganda adopted in 2013 a new land policy which envisions an overhaul of the current land rights laws, and further establishes land rights for women.

 

Each of these efforts was supported by far thinking donors who understand that if countries don’t get land rights right, their efforts on a host of other priorities — from women’s empowerment to food security — will be frustrated. Donor resources are limited: Every dollar counts and the money won’t last. The question for donors is thus how to best support Africa in securing access to land for rural people at this critical juncture.

 

Here are 10 ways:

 

1. Work with governments, the private sector and communities to support healthy and sustainable land sector investments.

2. Increase support to Africa’s small and medium-size farms.

3. Support government efforts to recognize and protect community land rights.

4. Seek ways to support women’s access and rights to land — as enshrined in the constitutions, laws and policies of many African countries — and support work to ensure that those rights are realized and implemented.

5. Support government efforts to decentralize land governance at the local level.

6. Base programs on a thorough understanding of local needs, priorities, and capacity.

7. Coordinate more effectively with other donors.

8. Commit to long-term horizon for land policy reform.

9. Invest in robust research and monitoring efforts.
10. Dedicate resources to capacity building in-country wherever and whenever possible.


Via Robin Landis
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Aqueduct

Aqueduct | Sand dam | Scoop.it

Aqueduct's global water risk mapping tool helps companies, investors, governments, and other users understand where and how water risks and opportunities are emerging worldwide.

Utooni Development Organization's insight:

The data from this new tool shows that South Eastern Kenya is at a Medium to High Risk Level with its chances increasing to Extremely High Risk by 2025.  Let's keep building more sand dams and reverse some of these forecasts!

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Training of Transformational Community Development - Global Hope Network International

Training of Transformational Community Development - Global Hope Network International | Sand dam | Scoop.it
GHNI works with villages to help them apply Transformational Community Development and also by training village leaders to help others in their villages.
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

Utooni Development Organization also trains community self help groups on a variety of topics to help them improve their standard of living and achieve water and food security. -tjhb

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Community gardens work to increase food security in Lesotho, Africa | WNN – Women News Network

Community gardens work to increase food security in Lesotho, Africa | WNN – Women News Network | Sand dam | Scoop.it
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Land degradation, water scarcity threatening food security, says FAO

Land degradation, water scarcity threatening food security, says FAO | Sand dam | Scoop.it

"The largest contribution to increase agricultural output will most likely come from intensification of production from existing farm lands. This will call for widespread adoption of sustainable land management practices and more efficient use of irrigation water through enhanced flexibility, reliability and timing of irrigation water delivery, says the report.

 

There is also need for increasing investment in agricultural development. The gross investment between 2007 and 2050 for irrigation management in developing countries is estimated at nearly $1 trillion. This apart, land protection and development, soil conservation and flood control will require investment of another $160 billion during the period."

Utooni Development Organization's insight:

UDO is training its farmers and community groups land management best practices.  Training includes terracing to capture water and control flooding, planting sustainable crops, cover crops, using green manure, and drip irrigation.  They learn how to efficiently harvest rain water to the extent that is lasts year-round.

 

Working together we can make a difference.  At the Sand Dam Conference this year in Machakos, Utooni Development Organization and Sahelian Solutions Foundation will be presenting their best practices.

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Forests and Trees Key to Food Sustainability

Forests and Trees Key to Food Sustainability | Sand dam | Scoop.it

"One important thing that is over-looked he explained, is the need for long term support to sustain agricultural systems.  He said many forests are providing ecosystem services by helping to regulate water flow, and helping to protect against soil erosion."

Utooni Development Organization's insight:

UDO has planted over a million trees and includes tree planting as part of its community development projects.  Yes, tree are a part of the answer to food sustainability.

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Citizens thumb nose at rainwater harvesting rule

Citizens thumb nose at rainwater harvesting rule | Sand dam | Scoop.it
As Bangalore reels under severe water shortage, the ambitious plan of Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) to ensure that houses in City adopt Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) seems to have fizzled out.
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

In the attached article, the Bengali government mandated RWH.  When communities are trained about its benefits and work together to overcome a challenge, such as drought, rain water harvesting can be much more effective.

 

Utooni's late founder, Joshua Mukusya (RIP 2011), used to ask a question of the men during community trainings in Eastern Kenya: "The rain falls on your roof, goes by your house, and runs down into the river.  Who is the foolish one to send his wife to fetch the water from the river when it just passed your house?"  He mobilised communities to develop rainwater harvesting (RWH).  -tjhb

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Cultivating Nutritious Food Systems: Stories from East Africa

Watch as we profile several organizations and individuals working in East Africa to bring nutritious local foods to their communities. These stories are snapshots from GAIN's first of a series of Snapshot Reports, Cultivating Nutritious Food Systems.


Via Robin Landis
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Climate Code Red: Arctic melt hits food security in bitter taste of life on a hotter planet

Climate Code Red: Arctic melt hits food security in bitter taste of life on a hotter planet | Sand dam | Scoop.it
Rapid Arctic melting – sea-ice volume in September 2012 was down by four-fifths compared to the summer average 30 years ago – has help change the Jet Stream, the river of high altitude air that works to separates Arctic weather from that of northern Europe, Russia and Canada, and which governs much northern hemisphere weather.
 The ice loss has added to ocean and atmospheric heat, pushing the Jet Stream into a more meandering, S-shape pattern, dragging down and stalling cold and wet conditions over Europe, and bringing record heat to the Arctic, as was dramatically experienced in Alaska last month.

Professor Jennifer Francis, of Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science, saysthe Arctic-driven changes to the Jet Stream allows “the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. The pattern can be slow to change because the [southern] wave of the jet stream is getting bigger…  so whatever weather you have now is going to stick around”.
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

This article from ClimateCodered.org helps us understand how the changing ice caps are changing the Jet Stream that controls much of the weather in the northern hemisphere.  If this is happening in the north, a similar pattern may be happening in the Southern hemisphere. -tjhb

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Kenya Food Security Outlook Update June 2013 | ReliefWeb

Kenya Food Security Outlook Update June 2013 | ReliefWeb | Sand dam | Scoop.it
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

"• Food security remained stable but Stressed (IPC Phase 2) across the country following the relatively good performance of the March to May long rains. As a result, a significant proportion of households can at least meet their minimum food requirements.

• However, the erratic ending of the long rains in the southeast and the highly likely below normal peak in the coastal strip in June/July may reduce food supply to below earlier expected levels and constrain household food availability and access between July and September.

• Maize prices remained stable across the country while livestock prices increased between April and May, increasing access to food for those households in the pastoral livelihood zones who depend on markets for their food."

 

It looks like nationally, food security is stable at this time, although stressed.  Keep praying for more rain. -tjhb

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Food security situation improves in Kenya : FAO in Emergencies

Food security situation improves in Kenya : FAO in Emergencies | Sand dam | Scoop.it
The number of food insecure people requiring direct food aid in Kenya has dropped from 2.1 million in 2012 to 1.1 million in 2013.
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

That the number of people who are food insecure has dropped almost half in one year is great!  Rains help, but they do not always last.  It is because of organizations like Utooni Development Organization that ongoing community preparations are made for times of no rain.

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Cargill Exec: Free Trade, Africa Key to Global Food Security - Global Atlanta - GlobalAtlanta

Cargill Exec: Free Trade, Africa Key to Global Food Security - Global Atlanta - GlobalAtlanta | Sand dam | Scoop.it

Michael Robach cited a simple fix propounded by an 18th-century British economist: "Each country should grow the crops best suited for its soil and climate and then trade with other countries."

Utooni Development Organization's insight:

UDO is encouraging its community farmers to move away from subsistence farming to drought-resistant crops.  Through training and experience farmers have already begun shifting away from growing maize as much.

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Forests and food security: back on the global agenda

Forests and food security: back on the global agenda | Sand dam | Scoop.it
Recent news headlines, a plethora of scientific publications and the creation of new academic think tanks all reflect growing concerns over how to achieve global food security -- a centerpiece of donor commitments and the focus of many research and...
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

Although this article presents an urgent warning, there is hope. Our organization is reducing hunger in Kenya by improving water security.  We have donors like Canadian Foodgrains Banks (@CIDA_CA) who source water and food in the country to which they want to give food. -thb

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Overview of Climate Change | Asian Development Bank

Overview of Climate Change | Asian Development Bank | Sand dam | Scoop.it
Working with partners, ADB is responding to the growing need for innovative policies, institutions, and investments to lead the region to a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.
Utooni Development Organization's insight:

I wonder if sand dams would be an appropriate natural technology for semi arid regions in Asia.

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