Livestock preservation strategies in drought prone areas: a case study of Oldonyo Nyekie Community (Magadi Division of Kajiado North District)
Periodic droughts affect both developing and developed countries, with direct impacts on agriculture and on other productive sectors reliant on water, such as hydroelectricity. It is in developing countries; however, where drought is highly correlated with the performance of the overall economy, as a result of heavy reliance on rain fed agriculture. The 2009 Red Cross Drought Operations Update indicated that pastoralists cluster around a few areas in central parts of Kajiado in such of pasture. The most affected divisions are Ewaso, Central, Magadi and Mashuru. The aim of the study was to investigate the livestock preservation strategies deployed by pastoralist communities before the occurrence of a drought. The study was conducted in Kajiado district, Magadi division among the Oldonyo Onyekie community. The targeted respondents included the key informants (people residing in the district and have extensive knowledge about the district due to their line of duty in managing droughts and other natural disasters they include Government line ministries and Non Governmental Organizations. Focus group and house hold members. The sample size for this study consisted of 5 key informants, 6 focus group discussions consisting of 6- 12 members and 139 household heads. Primary data from 139 households' heads was collected using questionnaires and an interview schedule. Focus group discussion consisted of 6-12 men and women who are community opinion leaders and well knowledgeable on issues confronting community of OIDonyo onyekie. Data was analyzed both qualitative and quantitatively. The study identified disabilities group, the children and adults as the vulnerable group, since they are unable to migrate with the livestock and the sick group. The strategies pursued by pastoralists in the face of drought include: movement, migration in search of work by some household members, water and land conservation, sale of livestock for income and breeding management. In institution framework analysis, the study confirmed the government, the NGO's and CBOs involvement in mitigation measures such as; early warning system, support for activities like marketing and livestock off-take, water development, livestock health, public-works schemes, food aid, and initiatives to promote post-drought recovery and key recommendations.