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AFAS Blog

Blog

Exploring urban agriculture as a Nature-based Solution: A case study of Nairobi

Urban agriculture (UA) encompasses various meanings globally, generally denoting agricultural or gardening activities within urban areas and their peripheries. Its expression varies contextually, shaped by historical, socio-economic, climatic, and cultural factors. Increasingly recognized as a potential multifunctional solution, UA might address diverse urban challenges such as food security, climate change adaptation, and biodiversity loss in cities. In her Master’s thesis, Anica Luggen-Hölscher decided to focus on UA in Nairobi and to explore it as a potential Nature-based Solution (NbS).

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Blog

Sustainable Biomass-based Cooking Solutions as a Nature-based Solution

Kenya’s reliance on biomass energy for cooking remains significant and is even expected to increase due to population growth, urbanization, and limited access to cleaner energy sources (Namaswa et al., 2022; Okoko et al., 2017). Recent data from the Ministry of Energy in 2019 revealed that approximately 70% of households in Kenya rely on woodstoves, with a majority still using three-stone open fires. Other cooking technologies, such as charcoal stoves, LPG stoves, and kerosene stoves, make up the remaining percentages, with electrical appliances, biogas and liquid biofuels remaining marginal.

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The Role of Termites as Ecological Engineers across the African Savanna Landscape

Termites are small “soft-bodied eusocial ‘white ants’ insects” which feed on a variety of organic material, ranging from leaf litter, wood or soil humus. Their feeding character has made various people to perceive them differently. For instance, across agricultural landscapes, termites (together with earthworms) have been regarded as crucial sources of proteins, vitamins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals to poultry due to their high nutritional value (Tiroesele and Moreki, 2012). In contrast, other people regard termites as pests, owing to their destructive nature to farm produce resulting to low crop yields and huge losses to farmers. As a mitigation measure, the farmers have adopted various physical and chemical measures to manage them. The attribute of termites wreaking havoc to farmers was well known to the AFAS students mainly because a majority of them hail from agricultural backgrounds in Africa as they have witnessed first-hand their negative impact.

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