Arid & Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) Committee

asal stakeholders forum

 ASAL stakeholders’ forum held on January 16th, 2017 at LAICO hotel, Nairobi.

Background (Role of the Committee)

The Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Committee deals with matters relating to the development of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs). The committee offers a platform for consultation on key issues such as Contingency planning for drought and other associated risks. The mandate encompasses sharing of best practices, review of policy and legal proposals on issues of food security and drought management in ASALs.


Legal Framework

The Committee`s primary source of legislation is embedded in Article 56 of the Constitution of Kenya which envisages that the State shall put in place affirmative action programmes designed to take care of the interests of minorities and marginalized groups. The major legislations and policy instruments that have been reviewed under the auspices of the Committee include;

  • Northern Kenya Sustainable Development Policy 2017
  • Kenya Vision 2030 Sector Plan for DRM and EDE-2013-17.
  • National Contingency plan
  • Vision 2030 development strategy for ASALs
  • Drought Risk Management, 2014.
  • Peace and security 2014
  • Medium Term Plan 3 for Drought Risk Management and Ending Droughts Emergencies (2013-2017)


Status Briefs (Current agendas/issued being addressed by the Committee)

The Committee is currently involved in the following: -

  • Review, development and implementation of policy documents
  • Collection and analysis of; food security, drought situation, and early warning reports
  • Design and formulation of drought and resilience projects
  • Development of strategies/programs to ensure sustainable development of ASAL Counties

Opportunities that the Committee Offers
The Committee offers a platform for the following: -

  • Interventions in key areas such as direct investments in water to improve production and livelihoods
  • Identification of existing gaps and opportunities for strengthening the capacity of Counties to prepare for and respond to the impacts of weather-related shocks, with a particular focus on chronically vulnerable Counties
  • Strengthening of existing structures, coordination mechanisms, early warning and trigger systems at County and National level
    developing response initiatives designed to mobilize the rapid delivery of financial resources, review of existing Disaster Risk Management policies and regulations, institutional and financial arrangements and the efficiency of information and resource flows to Counties.

Impact/Breakthroughs/Key Achievements


  • Regular monitoring of national legislation and policy and proposed amendments to ensure they are cognizant of devolution and respond to the specific needs of the marginalized and minorities
  • Early warning reports from Counties
  • Review of the Medium Term Plan 3 on Food Security and Ending Drought Emergencies
    Formulation and implementation of projects in ASAL areas designed to build resilience to climate shocks and enhance food security
  • Active intergovernmental forums on issues of policy, legislation, farm inputs, food security and implementation of national projects in the ASAL areas
  • Active Capacity building for County staff on contingency planning and DRM



The committee develops and maintains a variety of resources on ASAL issues including: -

  • Research work, technical and advisory resources that act as interface between the National and County Governments.
  • Collection and analysis of; food security, drought situation and early warning reports
  • Status briefs and position papers on national laws and policies
  • Database of Counties clustered according to the early warning -early action systems
  • Success stories for the various County Governments in building resilience to climate shocks and enhancing food security

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