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For women in Kenya's dry north, water is power

Sitting a couple of kilometres outside the village of Wajir-bor in northeast Kenya is something quite rare for these dry parts: a small, well-maintained reservoir full of water with a watchman standing guard at the gate.

A dam was constructed here after the Wajir County Assembly passed a climate change act in 2016, one of the first in Kenya, freeing up government funds for projects chosen by local people.

The people of Wajir-bor, 40 km (25 miles) west of the border with Somalia and inhabited mainly by the Degodia clan of the Somali ethnic group, decided on the water pan, which provides water for domestic use and for livestock to drink.

With the money, they also installed a water tank and a diesel generator to pump water into an animal trough, and fenced off the shallow reservoir to keep it clean.

Wajir's Climate Change Fund, set up through the act, is resourced with 2 percent of the county's development budget. The money is set aside for efforts to adapt to climate change impacts such as worsening drought.


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