Tharaka Nithi County, also known as TNC has two ecological zones:The highlands (upper zone) comprise of Maara and Chuka which receive adequate rainfall for agriculture.
The semi-arid (lower zone) covers Tharaka and receives less rainfall suitable for livestock production, This zone is characterized by poor methods of farming and soil conservation, charcoal burning and overgrazing that have left the earth bare and rocky. The sloping areas have experienced uncontrolled soil erosion, which has resulted in deep gullies across the landscape especially in Igamba Ngombe and Tharaka areas.
The drainage pattern consists of rivers and streams that have been rendered dry by human activity around the riverine areas. Excess sand harvesting in the lower regions and continuous tree cutting along river banks for charcoal and other activities have left most of the rivers and streams exposed and ultimately dry up due to overuse and misuse of the riverine resources.
PACJA with support from Trocaire under the UKAM project has worked with three Counties of Kitui, Embu and Tharaka Nithi governments to scale up their response to climate change through responsive legislation and policy. This is in addition to the practical demonstration of ways in which to practice sustainable agriculture and boost food security while conserving the environment and at the same time contributing to mitigating climate change.
At Igamba Ngombe Demonstration Farm, members of the project and local farmers are supported to learn modern and innovative ways on land use and the production of food through methods that conserve and promote the regeneration of resources for instance agro-ecology.
In Tharaka Nithi County, the legislative process has made some strides, at times the process has stalled due to various challenges but the push from PACJA has sustained the momentum and build up is heading towards the adoption and passing of the necessary legislation for the purposing of enhancing the Climate change response within the County.
This monitoring and evaluation visit revealed the progress made and some of the achievements that the project has recorded, in addition t the various challenges inherent in the project.