Adaptive Capacity in Watershed Governance for Food Security in the Lower Sio River Basin, Busia County, Kenya

Namenya Daniel Naburi


Watershed systems with high adaptive capacity are able to re-configure themselves when subjected to change without significant declines in crucial socio-ecological functions. This study assessed adaptive capacity variables in watershed governance for sustainable food security at the household level in the Lower Sio River Basin, Busia County, Kenya. A total of 387 households were sampled using a combination of multi-stage and simple random sampling. Questionnaires, interview guides, observation and focus group discussion guides were employed to collect primary data. Results indicate that the need to increase or sustain food production was ranked first by 86.8% as a factor that contributed to public involvement in watershed management activities. The results further revealed that creating social resilience to adapt to a changing climate, and clarifying roles and responsibilities at p-value=0.000; enhancing water-use efficiency and improving management at p-value=0.010 were significant governance aims that determined households’ food security. Watershed governance structures such as water resources, management policies and plans p-value=0.000, and water resource institutions p-value=0.001 were also significant to households' food security status. Therefore, enhancing adaptive capacity of institutions towards watershed governance is a fundamental condition towards households’ food security in the Lower Sio River Basin.

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