Post Drought recovery strategies among the Turkana pastoralists in Northern Kenya.
Obando, Joy Apiyo
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Pastoralism is one of the most important economic activities from which millions of people derive their livelihoods in the entire Horn of Africa region. Pastoralists in this region keep a significant part of their wealth in form of livestock. In Kenya, the pastoral communities occupy the entire northern parts of the country. Climate variability and change which has led to recurrent droughts thus leading to water shortage and disruption of the vegetation cycle, are considered to be the root causes of the crisis facing these pastoralists resulting in catastrophic losses. The study however revealed that pastoralists have built traditional mechanism to cope with and recover from droughts. For a pastoral household, recovery after drought is always the most challenging aspect of the entire scenario. This period falls between the drought period and the high-density phase. Although during the recovery period, pasture and water availability are always sufficient to support animals, most of the households have already exhausted their livestock resources either through forced sales or death during drought. It is difficult to discuss post drought recovery strategies without first talking about the drought coping strategies in the pastoral areas. This is because before the pastoralists can recover from drought, they have to cope with its effects. The coping strategies in the drought phase are very important if there will be any recovery. There is need for all actors in the pastoral regions of Turkana Central to develop a sustainable approach to increasing adaptive capacity and resilience is by enabling pastoralists to understand and analyze the current situation in their areas, and creating the enabling environment for them to make decisions on how to manage their resources in a landscape especially relating to drought coping and recovery.