Script 84.12

Notes to broadcasters

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Climate change is a problem which is affecting everybody, both rich and poor. So everybody should be involved in the process of finding solutions.

Sometimes people might not understand the scientific explanation of climate change or the words used to explain it. But the outcome is very clear to them, like lack of consistent rain and inappropriate temperatures.

For everyone to survive this change which has been brought about by human activities like cutting trees and production of harmful gases, we must find ways of adapting to the change. These adaptation strategies will be different for everyone.

In this script, we talk about how small scale farmers – who in most cases are poor and lack enough land and resources for farming and mostly depend on the rains – should adjust their practices to adapt to this climate change which has made the rains unreliable. We should find means of using the little water we are getting from these unpredictable rains to get enough food for our day to day living.

To adapt this script to your local situation, you should interview the people dealing with environmental issues in your area about the effects of climate change. You could also interview agricultural officers on the new tools, equipment and methods of farming that can help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change in your country.


Signature tune

Dear listener, this is Mang’elete 89.1 F.M, broadcasting from Nthongoni town in Kibwezi district in the Eastern Province of Kenya. My name is Dominic Mutua Maweu, and I am presenting to you the Environment program. You have all witnessed the shortage of rain we have been experiencing in this area in recent years. We have been getting rains once per year when we should really be getting two seasons of rain per year, and if we do get two of them, they are very little. This is due to the effects of climate change, which is brought about by human activities like burning fossil fuels – oil, gas, and coal – for cooking and heating, in vehicles, and for use in industries. Climate change is also caused by cutting trees to burn charcoal and not planting others, thus destroying our forests which help to restore the climate.

In our program today l would like us to look at what small scale farmers can do in their farming practices to minimize the effects of climate change, and the kinds of farming we can use to get good yields with the little rain we are receiving in this area.

I would like you to listen to a story about a woman who is a mother ofsix, together with her husband, who depend on their one and half acres of land for survival. She is one of many people who have benefited from the activities of a certain NGO which has introduced a method known as “drip irrigation.” According to the woman, this method is very effective, although you need to spend some money at the beginning to buy equipment.

First, you have to buy the drip hoses, which are ½ an inch wide. The length of the hose depends on the size of the piece of land you are irrigating. You will also need a main pipe to take water – from 100 litres to 1000 litres, depending on the source of water. Let’s hear more about drip irrigation directly from this woman.

Fade in background sounds of garden, then under speech

My name is Susan Wambua from Kithima village. Drip irrigation was introduced to me by Mr. Ndiso. He was working with the people who brought the method to this area. They were giving the drip kits for free to farmers who had a source of water like a well, pond or a river nearby.

In this plot of mine, I use a 100-litre container and my water well, which has a hand pump. It takes me about two hours to irrigate my plot, which is about 35 by 70 metres. I have planted tomatoes, beans, cabbage and maize. These small pipes you see here are called drip hoses. They have small holes which are one foot apart. These small holes allow water to drip slowly right into the soil, allowing the crop to get it right as it flows. In this way, no water is wasted. The crops get enough, and I don’t use too much. My crops are planted at the same intervals as the holes in the drip hoses, so that they can get water directly from the hose.

You should be very careful with these containers, because some of them might contain rust or other substances that can harm your plants or those who eat them. It’s advisable to use plastic containers that can be washed very carefully to rinse out their previous contents.

The best thing about this method is that it is very simple. It can also be used by those who are far from water sources and use bicycles to fetch water. The only things they need to do are service their bicycles, carry water and fill the container connected to the drip hoses.

Fade out background sounds of garden

I talked to the agricultural officer in the area, who told me that they are aware of this method and are working together with some NGOs, including the Africa Medical Research Foundation, Germany Agro Action and ActionAid, to see that farmers can get the drip kits and advice about the method.

Short musical break

Dear listener, you are listening to the Environment program from Radio Mangelete 89.1 FM. We are talking about how small scale farmers can adapt to climate change. Apart from drip irrigation using pipes, there is also another drip irrigation method which requires no expenses at all. This method is good for planting trees for shade, timber and fruit. What you need for this method is to collect old containers that can hold from five to 20 litres of water.

Kimanthi Mutua is a school boy aged 13 years. He has been using this method, so let’s hear from him.

Fade in background sounds

My name is Kimanthi Mutua. I am in standard eight in Kithingiisyo Primary School. I planted these mangoes when I was in standard six; they are all grafted. As you can see, every tree has a water container placed close to the stem and in a position to give the tree water. Each container has a small hole in a place close to the plant. Because the hole is blocked by the soil around the mango tree, the water drips very slowly from the container to the tree. I have forty five mango trees, and it takes me one hour after school to fill the containers with water every two days during the dry season. The water is only one kilometre from our shamba. I usually use my bicycle to fetch twenty containers of twenty liters each to refill the irrigating containers.

Fade out background sounds

Dear listener, these are some of the methods used by small scale farmers in this area to overcome the challenges brought about by climate change. The main environmental change we are facing here is unreliable rains. And, as you are aware, most people in our area depend on rain for everything in their lives. So it is advisable for everyone to find good solutions. Thank you and let’s stop here today in our program. Till next time, my name is Dominic Mutua Maweu, producer of the program. Bye – bye.


Contributed by: Dominic Mutua Maweu, Radio Mang’elete, Mtito Andei, Kenya.

Reviewed by: John FitzSimons, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph, Canada.