The Pastoralists Position & Demands 

 It is highly acknowledged that climate change is aglobal phenomenon that has continued to punish humanity for her deeds. However, climate change
has emerged and evolved to become a major threat to livelihood and human life in arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya (ASAL). The ASAL regions are characterized with a background of extreme climatic conditions that have already exerted devastating effects to the environment and livelihoods of the communities within these regions. Moreover, the communities in the ASALs are often faced with the challenges of scarce resources in the setting of political and economic marginalization (1,2). Due to exacerbated climate change effects, the communities’continuity in the ASALs is at a breaking point as they can no longer endure the most extreme of these effects presented to them as a double-edged sword.Presently, the ASALs of Kenya experiences a two-fold worse drought and flood situation in a sequential occurrence compared to previous years.

Currently, the country is facing heavy rains due to the progress of El Niño and Positive Indian Ocean Dipole events in the region. So far, the ASAL has again been hit by severe continuous floods leading to loss of human lives, displacement loss of livestock and livelihood.

The Maa Economic Bloc in Kenya consisting of counties home to the indigenous Maasai community namely; Kajiado, Narok and Samburu counties was recently established (2023) to promote unity of the Maasai community across all counties in Kenya. The bloc will promote a more unified approach towards matters of common interest including the promotion & preservation of culture as well as joint voice in seeking reparation & restitution for the historical injustices meted towards these communities. Spring of the Arid and Semi-arid Lands (SASAL) in association with the MAA economic Bloc in Kenya, acknowledges the importance of the loss and damage fund and its progress since the groundbreaking agreement at COP27. SASAL presents the pastoralists voice from this bloc that aims to contribute towards the actualization and operationalization of the loss and damage fund in order to benefit such vulnerable and marginalized communities at the grassroot level. Through rigorous consultations with key leaders & departments from the 3 counties constituting the bloc, the following demands & inputs were put forward for COP28.

  • Operationalize Now
  • Accessibility
  • Awareness and Transparency
  • Financial Instruments

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Through training and capacity-building workshops SASAL promotes the knowledge of the climate in schools and the community. We particularly focus on school-going children and women as they are vulnerable and disproportionately affected. Also, through our advocacy chapter, Fridays for Future Kajiado (affiliated with Fridays For Future international), we train women and girls most affected by the climate crisis and are victims of gender-based violence on advocacy, lead them in peaceful marches, connect them to local leaders to table their pleas as well as providing them space and psychosocial support to enable healing.