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Simple Water Harvesting Technologies Can Improve Food Security

Food Security

Turkana is an arid region in northwestern Kenya, where the people are mainly pastoralists. Due to the harsh climate, the people there have for many years relied on WFP and others for food relief. They are now, with the help of WFP, working to improve their own food security by learning simple water harvesting techniques. They use the water for their livestock and for growing crops.

Long distances in search of water

In Turkana, people have to walk long distances in search of water to use both at home and for their livestock.

Water harvesting technology

A water pan is a large man-made water storage pond that is relatively simple to create. Rainwater is collected during the rainy season, and then used in the dry season to supply homes, livestock and crops.. In Turkana, water pans can hold water for up to four months.

Harvest time

By building soil bunds to hold rainwater, communities are able to grow fast-maturing crops such as sorghum.  WFP provides food assistance and technical support to communities as they work to build bunds, water pans or other water-management systems.

Winnowing the harvest

A woman winnows the sorghum she harvested to remove the chaff.

winnowing the harvest

Separating the grain from chaff and dust is an important step in preparing sorghum to eat.

Cooking sorghum flour

The sorghum that families have harvested can be milled into a flour that is used to make 'ugali,' a stiff porridge that is commonly eaten in Kenya.

Turkana county in northwestern Kenya is an arid region. Due to the harsh climate, the people there have for many years relied on WFP and other agencies for food relief. They are now, with the help of WFP, working to improve their own food security by learning simple water harvesting techniques. They use the water for their livestock and for growing crops.