Newsflash October 2018

Youth empowerment in spate areas of Sindh
MetaMeta and a national NGO of Pakistan Research and Development Foundation (RDF) linked an MOU to promote youth empowerment in spate areas of Sindh, particularly the Jamshoro district Pakistan.

Both the organizations envision to extend their cooperation to each other in organizing various activities around water governance and climate sensitive agriculture in Sindh, engaging youth from climate sensitive areas. RDF would seek facilitation and training of MetaMeta in organizing trainings on climate sensitive agriculture, water governance, gender action and learning for the youth. Through this, RDF can access and use the farmer guidelines and action books on water, developed by MetaMeta and the Flood-Based Livelihoods Network (FBLN). It also aims to conduct joint research, knowledge management and explore future project prospects in spate areas of Sindh in order to better support poor communities and broadly mainstream water management in stressed ecologies.

Road Runoff Harvesting in Kenya
Road runoff harvesting (RRH) is a concept that is relatively new to researchers and scientists. It involves harvesting road water by diverting the water from the roads and conveying it to individual crops and trees through terraces and soil bunds. A research was done at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in collaboration with Roads4Water and MetaMeta to determine the impacts of RRH on land productivity and agro-ecosystem sustainability. The research took place in Kitui and Machakos Counties, where RRH and integration of agroforestry is widespread.

Mr. Martin Njue, a farmer in Muthetheni ward, Machakos County is one of the model farmers who practices RRH and agroforestry. He grows pigeon peas, maize and mango trees. One of the main challenges he has faced in the past is unavailability of water, however now due to the RRH, he has enough water for agricultural production and he has had an increase in yields by about 25%. A retention ditch has also been dug so that the sand from the road water can be deposited there instead of going into the farm. The retention ditch also controls the amount of water that goes into the farm, hence preventing flooding that causes waterlogging.

 

 

 
RRH prevents road damage, in that the water that damages the roads is instead utilized in the farms.  This will reduce the money being spent by the government to repair the roads. The integration of agroforestry in RRH should be encouraged in the dry lands of Kenya. This is mainly because the dry lands constitute about 80 percent of Kenya’s land and water scarcity is a problem in these areas due to the severe droughts. These areas constitute majority of the country’s area and there is an unused potential in harvesting of road water during floods and diverting the water into the agricultural fields.
 
Click here for a video showing experiences with road runoff harvesting and agroforestry in Kitui and Machakos county in Kenya and here for a Practical Note on this topic.
 
Blogs
In collaboration with FBLN, two new blogs have been uploaded on The Water Channel. One on a success story showing how sharing videos and pictures on WhatsApp can be used as an instrument to support farmer to farmer learning and get advice of experts on for example crop diseases (click here). Another one on addressing climate change, poverty, and flooding in Malawi (click here).
 
Energy Globe Award 2018
This month RDF received the prestigious environmental award ‘The Energy Globe Award 2018’ from the Federal Minister Energy Mr. Umer Ayoub Khan and the H.E Ambassador of Austria Dr. Brigitta Blaha on the occasion of National Day Celebration of Austria at Austrian Embassy in Islamabad. RDF has won the prestigious environmental award from Austria on account of promoting fuel efficient stoves and environment conservation in rural areas of Sindh.  This year over 2000 submissions from over 180 countries participated in the award competition. High-profile experts from the Energy Globe evaluation committee evaluated and selected the national winners. RDF was selected as the winner of 2018 competition.
 
 

PhD in Crop Soil Sciences

Macpherson Nthara is the FBLN Malawi coordinator and has been actively contributing to FBLN activities the past two years and has expanded the Network in Malawi significantly. We want to congratulate him on his selection for a PhD in Crop and Soil Sciences and the Lilongwe University for Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). Macpherson is planning to have a joint research project with overseas universities looking at Ephemeral rivers in Malawi, their hydrology, morphology, drivers for change and opportunities. A very interesting topic which he has a lot of experience on. However, sponsorship is still needed for him to start. Any tips are welcome and can be send to macphersonnthara@yahoo.co.uk.
 
7th Annual International Training Mekelle
Interested in Integrated Watershed Management and Flood-based Farming Systems in ASAL Areas? Join the training 7 to 18 November at Mekelle University, Ethiopia. The training covers seven modules in 12 days including modules on water and land management, participatory design of flood-based farming systems (FBFS), ecosystem services of watershed management and FBFS and a field visit to a spate area. There is only place for a maximum 45 participants. For more information, check the brochure. You can apply by sending an e-mail to tesfa-alem.gebreegziabher@mu.edu.et.
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