Pastoralist herd size maintenance during drought with the use of reseeded fields near Lake Baringo, Kenya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Land degradation, loss of access to land resources, climate variability, socio-economic changes, and population increase are among the factors that contribute to forage shortage among the pastoral communities. The loss of forage is critical, especially when droughts are frequent and prolonged. Interventions to improve pastoralists’ resilience include policies that encourage livelihood diversification, that is, promoting enterprises that are less impacted by climate variability. This paper evaluates a reseeding project among pastoralists from Lake Baringo, Kenya, with the goal of rehabilitating degraded lands. Field owners participated in a survey and answered both quantitative and qualitative questions relating to their field and household characteristics. We use livestock herd size to assess households’ conditions. We hypothesize that field characteristics including total land size reseeded, the total number of fields and the number of field locations, years of experience of working in reseeded fields, type of management, fencing, and the number of income-generating activities have an effect on herd size maintenance during drought. We find that the total number of fields and the number of income-generating activities have significant explanatory power in predicting a household’s ability to maintain its herd size during drought. These factors are related to fine-scale control over land use which contributes to maintaining herd size. These findings suggest that reseeding by local pastoralists could be replicated and up-scaled into other dryland counties of Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa as a promising intervention to improve resilience to climate variability, alleviate poverty, and improve environmental conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalPastoralism
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Land degradation
  • Sustainable range management
  • Variable climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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