Constraints and Solutions to Increased Productivity in two Pastoral Communities of Moroto and Samburu
George Gitao1, Dagmar Schoder2, Peace Musiimenta3
1The University of Nairobi, Dept. of Microbiology, Parasitology and Pathology, Kenya
In sub-Saharan Africa, mobile pastoralism has evolved over many years as the most efficient system as it involves movement of people and livestock according to the shifting availability of water and pasture. The dry and pastoral lands of East Africa occupy 70% of the horn of Africa which ranges from more than 80% in Kenya and 60% in Uganda. While Kenya is home to 4 million (10% of the population) pastoralists, Uganda has 5.5 million (22%) pastoralists mainly dependent on livestock. Currently, years of neglect, resource scarcity and climate variability has reduced the ability of many pastoralists to maintain a sustainable livelihood. This bleak situation, however, affords an opportunity to design and implement development models that can substantially improve livelihoods. In the first phase of an APPEAR funded project, the prevailing circumstances were examined in a study conducted between Dec 2015 and Jan 2016 in Moroto District, Karamajong region of Uganda and Opiroi, Samburu county. The constraints were determined through participatory focus group discussion with use of semi-structured interview as the main tool. These were followed by transect walks across the manyattas and discussions with key informants. In both places access to domestic water was the main challenge but in Samburu, there was in addition lack of pasture due to extensive environmental degradation. In both places, camel keeping has become very popular due to degraded environmental conditions. Other alternative livelihoods include beekeeping and poultry keeping especially for the women. The main livestock diseases in both places were foot and mouth, anaplasmosis, peste des petits ruminants, CCPP, lumpy skin disease and CBPP mange in that order of priority. In both places, men own the livestock while women perform daily chores. Ninety percent of school going age were at home some tending to livestock. In both places, community elders placed heavy penalties on cutting of trees. The proposed interventions will be undertaken by both social and natural scientists from Makerere, University of Nairobi and University of Vienna. These interventions will involve design, trial and implementation of successful models in livestock trade, diseases, energy utilisation, natural conservation, alternative livelihoods, water conservation and purification.
Keywords: Constraints, East Africa, pastoralism, poverty reduction
Contact Address: George Gitao, The University of Nairobi, Dept. of Microbiology, Parasitology and Pathology, Nairobi, Kenya, e-mail: cggitaogmail.com