Coping With Drought: An Overview Of Adaptive Strategies Against Livestock Losses By Nomads Of Northern Kenya

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Date
2001
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Animal Production Society of Kenya
Abstract
The region in southwest Marasbit in northern Kenya is an example of an arid zone ecosystem where drought is a regular feature. Livestock forms the mainstay of the livelihoods of the nomadic peoples inhabiting this harsh environment. The main effect of drought on the livelihood of the nomads is through loss of their livestock which supplies them with milk, meat and cash for purchase of grain and other requirements. Over time, pastoralists have evolved coping strategies to minimise losses of their livestock. However, recent external interventions have made it more difficult for pastoralists to cope with drought menace, chief among them being the institution of administrative boundaries, encroachment of agriculture and delineation of wildlife and forest preserves, to their exclusion. This paper gives an overview of the traditional strategies employed by nomadic pastoralists in southwest Marsabit District to minimise losses of livestock during drought and the role that research can play to help alleviate the problem.
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