Building Community Resilience through Environmental Management done for Livelihoods and for Faith: The Case of Christian Impact Mission in Yatta Kenya

Daniel Kipkemboi Lagat


The realization of Vision 2030 in Kenya greatly depends on how development will be carried out sustainably. Human development will depend on food and water security, and whether these people have money in their pockets for education, health, and proper living. Sadly, the reality of climate change is threatening to destroy all pillars of development in Kenya. Christian Impact Mission, a church organization in Yatta constituency in Machakos Kenya, has been exerting significant effort to build resilience of the residents of Yatta to have food and water security and to practice agribusiness to give them money. This study focused on the work of Christian Impact Mission to examine the strategies used to build community resilience in a context of harsh climate. The central question in this study is “what factors that are at play in successfully building resilience of Yatta residents?” A total of 20 participants were interviewed, including CIM leaders, key implementers if CIM initiatives, local administration and other knowledgeable informants that were accessed through snowball. Findings indicated that while livelihoods became the priority and foundational need for the people of Yatta, faith became the overarching motivation for people to remain resilient. The study findings show that when environmental management initiatives present people’s felt need, they elicit an attitude of responsiveness. Furthermore, faith plays a crucial role in shaping people’s attitudes and making them inclined towards transformation. Finally, when people are convinced that their environmental stewardship contribution adds value, they are motivated to participate. This study recommends that faith development organizations should capitalize on the religious faith of the people they work with to influence them to adopt positive practices and ethics.
Key Words: Resilience, Food, Faith, Entrepreneurship, Livelihoods, Sustainability

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