Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

The Nexus between Indigenous Beliefs on Environment and Climate Change Adaptation amongst the Sengwer in Embobut Forest, Kenya

Mamati, King’asia; Maseno, Loreen; Chitando, Ezra; Conradie, Ernst M.; Kilonzo, Susan M.

Climate change is one of the most serious challenges to humanity’s survival, making environmental adaptation and conservation critical to mitigating its impacts. Cherangany Hills in Kenya is among the water towers currently facing environmental degradation, thereby exposing the country to the devastating effects of climate change such as disease outbreak, drought, hunger, and flooding. Sengwer are the indigenous community but among other settlers in this region are other Kalenjin communities and other minority groups. The Sengwer have historically identified parts of the Cherangany Hills as their ancestral land. Using literature-based research methodology, from published works, this chapter re-examines the Sengwer beliefs on natural environmental resources in connection to climate change adaptation and resilience. This chapter set out to outline how the intricate relation amongst the Sengwer indigenous people and their environment contributed to climate adaptation. This chapter explores the Sengwer people’s religious beliefs that divinely valourized the environment and acted as adaptive models to perturbations of climate change. It engages this in the context of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, on climate action.