Rusinga Island, in the southeast of Lake Victoria, is about 16 km (10 miles) long and 5 km (3 miles) wide. About 30,000 people call it home. But the island over the years has become an increasingly inhospitable environment for them.
“If you plant something, it just dries out,” says Odhiabmo, who runs an organisation to help people widowed or orphaned by AIDS. “You try to irrigate, and the water is too little because the sun comes and dries everything.”
The changes have come because of poor management of resources – including forests and fishing grounds – and because of increasing climate impacts.
But now residents are experimenting with renewable energy innovations, environmentally friendly farming, tree planting and other efforts aimed at improving the island’s environment, building resilience, creating livelihoods and overcoming shortages of food and water.
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