ASALs Categorization

The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) occupy over 80% of the country’s landmass. It is home to about 36% of the population, 70% of the national livestock and 90% of wildlife. The annual rainfall in arid areas ranges between 150 mm and 550 mm and semi-arid areas between 550 mm and 850 mm per year. Temperatures are high throughout the year, with high rates of evapo-transpiration.

The ASALs in Kenya are spread across 29 counties with varying degrees of aridity. These extreme climatic conditions have had devastating effects on the environment and livelihoods of communities with spiraling vulnerabilities. The ASAL areas are represented in the map below:

 Potential in the ASALs

The ASAL regions have great potential for development and contribution to the national economy. This potential includes :

  • Strategic position;
  • Water resources;
  • Livestock development;
  • Irrigated agriculture;
  • Renewable energy;
  • Mineral wealth;
  • Infrastructure projects (LAPSSET corridor);
  • Trade; and
  • Tourism.

The ASALs have unique challenges some of which are highlighted below:

  • Drought and climate change;
  • Inadequate Social Services;
  • Poor Physical Infrastructure;
  • Insecure Land Tenure System and Poor Land Use management;
  • Dispersed Human Settlements;
  • Internal displacements and refugees; and
  • Gender bias and negative cultural practices.

Source: Copyright © 2019, Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization

ASALs Information