Climate change has impacted on livelihoods, food security and health across wide swathes of Eastern Africa’s arid rangelands, producing a tremendous need for new knowledge, technologies, and scientists who are equipped to help the region withstand and adapt to the effects of climate change. For Dr. Mary Baaru, climate change became a clear and tangible reality when she travelled to an impoverished farming community in Northeastern Kenya to conduct field research for her PhD. Working closely with local farmers, and using Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, she mapped the water and other resources available to the community, and studied the rainfall patterns in the area over the past 50 years. “The rivers were running dry, and the forests were disappearing. It was clear that the area was getting worse and worse,” recalls Dr. Baaru, who recently earned her PhD through a ground-breaking regional programme in drylands resource management, offered through the University of Nairobi.
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