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Kenyatta University (2011)

Assessment of the post drought recovery strategies among pastoralists in Turkana Central District

Odhiambo, Caleb Ouma

Titre : Assessment of the post drought recovery strategies among pastoralists in Turkana Central District

Auteur : Odhiambo, Caleb Ouma

Université de soutenance : Kenyatta University

Grade : Master of Environmental Science 2011

This thesis is an assessment of the post drought recovery strategies among pastoralists in Turkana Central district. The main objective of this study was to assess how the pastoralists’ community in drought prone areas of Turkana Central district recovers their livelihoods in the post drought period. The study used structured questionnaires, participant observation and key informant interviews and focused groups discussions to collect both quantitative and qualitative primary data. Secondary data sources included review of published reports, journals, internet and books to identify the existing information on the effect of drought in the pastoral areas as well as the post drought recovery period. The quantitative data collected were processed, tabulated, and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 11· (Students version) to generate descriptive statistics. Socio-economic characteristics of the population show that marriage is highly regarded in the community with 65% of the population being married. Divorce was however low at only 4%. Most households were male headed with 75% of the total population. Livestock rearing in the form of pastoralism was the main livelihood accounting for 57%. Literacy was found to be very low with 77% of the people having no formal education and only 2% of the remaining 23%, having college education. The results showed that drought had a huge negative effect on the pastoralists. Loss of pasture accounted for 31 % of the effects of drought on pastoral households while loss of water accounted for 25%. Other effect of drought included loss of livestock, loss of income and loss of family members with 18%, 5% and 3% respectively. Post drought recovery strategies included livelihood diversification with 47% of the population practicing it. Female dominated herd (15%) was an important post drought recovery strategy as during this time, the stocking rates are low but the need for breeding stocks are high. Female herds are expected to give birth and replenish the herd. Herd diversification was another important strategy with 10% of the population keeping difference species of livestock as a coping and recovery strategy. Pastoralists that are left completely destitute due to drought rely on restocking accounting for 5% of the population. According to the pastoralists external agents provide important services that influence their recovery in the post drought periods. Such services include provision of water with 43%, provision of relief food accounting for 30% while provision of employment and early warning services which accounted for 20% and 7% respectively. Key policy issues that need to be addressed by the government in the area are those that focus on autonomous adaptation, land tenure, and access to pastoral markets. The study concluded that drought had a huge impact on the poor households because they were particularly vulnerable as they were mostly dependent on small stock animals, which are highly vulnerable to drought. The study also concluded that there is need for the recognition and maintenance of pastoral cultures, traditions and laws in mainstream policy making process as these mechanisms are important for successful implementation of government programmes to address drought in pastoral areas. The study recommends that there is need for government to substantially strengthen pastoralist advocacy and invest in human capital in the area ; provide credit facilities to pastoralists and improve pastoralists’ access to markets. For further research, the study recommends more studies to understand the herd dynamics at the household levels. More specifically, further research is needed to understand the loss suffered by the pastoralists at the household level and whether individual households are able to mitigate such losses through livestock marketing.


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