No rain and drought in Nyeri county has caused the drying of maize
Is it possible to turn highlands into high deserts, or have drylands in the highlands? Think about it. Where would you classify Mukurweini Sub-county in Nyeri County, drylands/semi-arid or high potential area? If you are wondering all about these, I might have answered sooner than later. I was sailing in the same boat as you before World Desertification and Drought 2022 was held at Giathugu Vocational Institute along Kiahungu,
Kabuta-Murang’a road and which is on top of one of the intertwined ridges of Mukurweini. It is one of
the highest ridges in the area for from there you can have a panoramic view of almost the entire south-western
and southeastern part of Nyeri County as well as the northern part of Murang’a County. “Surely, how did
the organizer choose Mukurweini instead of Kieni which is traditionally known as dryland ever since?”
my colleagues asked me. The organizer had a transport logistics problem and our office had the privilege of
arriving at the venue over an hour earlier than the former. I had no idea how we could have such an
event in a place full of trees and producing so much food even as the country experiences a very short-
long rain season.
WDCD 2022 was organized by the County Government of Nyeri in conjunction with Kenya Forest Service, Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund, Nyeri Water and Sanitation Company Limited, and the local Community-Based Organisations among others. NEMA Nyeri County office, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and Kenya Red Cross Society among other partners attended the event. The question asked at the beginning of this write-
up was answered by the Director-Water, Irrigation, Environment, and Climate Change Ms. Yvonne Mathenge whose Department organized the event. To everyone’s surprise, she gave some background information on Mukurewini Sub-county as traditional dryland. It concurred with here since I have been to the lower parts of the sub-county bordering Kirinyaga and lower Murang’a county towards Sagana areas.
The area near Sagana River although hilly is very fragile and even though trees are removed and over-cultivation done, the land can become unproductive. In light of this, it is possible to turn drylands into high potential lands
but sadly it is very possible to turn high potential and food basket lands into arid lands thanks to the climate
change phenomena, population increase, and over-grazing. Take care of the bread baskets and upgrade
drylands into food baskets