Risk Assessment Of The Coping And Adaptation Mechanisms For Pastoralists To Climate Change And Variability: A Case Study Of Kongelai Ward, West Pokot County, Kenya.
The study was undertaken in Kongelai Ward, West Pokot County, because of its vulnerability to changing and erratic rainfall pattern which has adversely affected pastoralism. The research focused on better understanding of climate change and variability on two climatic factors, rainfall and temperature, in order to provide insights on pastoralists‘ risk management adaptations at a micro-level. In addition, it investigated the use of Indigenous Knowledge. Pearson chi square test was conducted to test the hypothesis on whether there is an association between climate variability and change, and coping and adaptation strategies utilized by the Pokot community. Both primary and secondary data was used. Household questionnaire survey, focus group discussion and key informants interviews were used to collect primary data at household and community levels. Primary data (through questionnaires) was collected from a sample survey of 98 households taken from 5,596 households this was sampled using multi-stage sampling technique, and information obtained analyzed using inferential and descriptive statistics. Results indicated that, 94% of the farmers still use Indigenous knowledge. Coping strategies include: Sold livestock (90%), relief food (90%), cash/food-for-work (71%), Slaughter of old and weak livestock (58%), wild fruits (33%), bush products, (50%), off-farm employment (30%), and minimization of food for consumption (84%). Diversification of livelihood (92%), Livestock mobility (94%), sending children to school (56%), Strategic livestock feed (35%), Develop water sources (15%),Change in diet consumption (78%),Livestock off-take (25%),Storage of pasture (35%), were identified as some of the most commonly used adaptation strategies. Recommendations include; better planning and target interventions, Awareness creation on environment, alternative income source, support pastoralists adaptation and coping strategies, enhancement of extension services, documentation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge, and enhance pastoralists‘ resilience to drought and heat stresses.