SheRises Foundation

Impacts of Climate Change on Socio-economic Growth in Chakama- Kilifi County

Surviving the Wrath of Climate Change in Chakama: A Resilient Fight of the Community

In the sun-scorched region of Kilifi County, Kenya, one rural community called Chakama shows a very resilient stand against the unrelenting forces of climate change. The harsh realities of the inhabitants of this region are explored, where mighty rivers once flowed and have now reduced to a mere trickle, and the unending drought has certainly left an indelible mark on their lives and livelihoods.

Chakama, a collection of 46 small villages and 4,500 households, has battled against the worst impacts of climate change for years. People in this semi-arid region, characterized by low levels of education and literacy, have witnessed a discouraging decline in rainfall, followed by a critical and protracted drought. The impact has been immense: contamination of the diminishing sources of water and the devastation left by a massive locust invasion in 2020, making survival a struggle.

Stories of resilience and hardship are written across the faces of the people in Chakama. Karisa, aged 70, articulates indifferently, “I have never experienced such heat and dry spate since my birth”. Another villager, who trekked for hours in search of aid, decries, “Our suffering this time is much worse”—a testament to the relentless nature of the crisis.

The drought has heavily affected the community’s food security, with once-thriving farms now reduced to parched, lifeless expanses. A woman from Chakama village, standing amidst the dried remnants of her crops, despairs, “We are still going hungry”. The situation has become dire, pushing families to the brink of poverty, and forcing some to resort to the production of charcoal as a means of subsistence.

Adding insult to injury are the growing human-wildlife conflicts that the people of Chakama have had to grapple with. Elephants and hippos, also dislodged from their natural habitats by the drought, have invaded the villages, laying waste to crops and causing insecurity to the populace. The swelling number of trauma cases has outlaid a need for better emergency medical care, which is already under strain due to the climate challenge.

But amidst the gloom, there remains a glimmer of hope. SheRises Foundation has taken up the challenge and started engaging the community, giving them support, and providing services to make them more resilient. From rainwater harvesting to farming training, SheRises Foundation works diligently to empower the people of Chakama to face head-on this crisis of climate change.

The story of Chakama reminds us of the deep impacts that climate change has on weak communities. As the world grapples with the far-reaching consequences of global warming, the resilience and determination of this beleaguered region serve as a call to action—a testament to the power of community-driven solutions and the unwavering human spirit in the face of adversity.

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