Browse by Theme: Drought

This qualitative study aims to gain an understanding of the ability of different individuals in two study sites in northern Kenya and two in southern Ethiopia to cope with or adapt to the risks that they are confronted with, without compromising their long-term prospects; and to examine the extent to which the Regional Resilience Enhancement Against Drought (RREAD) programme implemented by CARE Kenya and CARE Ethiopia has supported this ability.

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This report outlines the practical lessons learned by CARE about Community-Based Adaptation (CBA) to climate change, and explores how elements of the approach are evolving and being integrated into other development sectors.

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Livestock is the main household asset and a key productive resource for pastoralist communitiesliving in the border areas of Kenya and Ethiopia. However, recurrent droughts are eroding pastoralists’ livestock base and weakening their livelihoods and their resilience to climatic shocks.

Livestock marketing, understood as the process through which live animals change ownership, is increasingly perceived as critical for improving pastoral household income. Efforts aimed at addressing constraints to the development of efficient and vibrant livestock marketing activities in the region are increasingly seen as a meaningful way of reducing pastoralists’ vulnerability to drought.

This baseline study, commissioned by CARE International, identifies structural issues behind livestock marketing in Mandera Central and West in Kenya and the Borana zone in Ethiopia. The study also aims to provide potential entry points for action to improve livestock marketing in the region.

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In 2006, a particularly severe drought hit the Greater Horn of Africa, plunging some 11 million people into crisis. The pastoral areas on the Ethiopia–Kenya–Somalia border were badly affected, with livestock losses of up to 70% and the mass migration of pastoralists out of drought-affected areas. This HPG Policy Brief argues that such catastrophic effects can be averted if pastoralist livelihoods are supported with timely and appropriate livelihoods-based interventions.

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This review recognises that addressing pastoralists’ political marginalisation, adopting appropriate cross-border approaches and improving donors’ policies to drought management is only part of broader efforts to address pastoralists’ vulnerability in the Horn of Africa (HoA), which may include efforts to improve access to markets, support viable economic alternatives, enable sustainable resource management to arrest or limit environmental degradation and so on. However, for the purpose of this analysis, this review is limited to the literature that discusses the above three key focus areas in relation to pastoralists’ vulnerability. In addition, this review recognises that pastoralists are a highly diversified group with widely different needs, backgrounds and levels of vulnerability. While there are pastoralists who are relatively wealthy and still able to profitably engage in pastoralism, in recent years an increasing number of pastoralist groups across the HoA have been confronted with a series of livelihoods shocks and have suffered from the progressive weakening of their livelihood systems and increased levels of vulnerability and food insecurity.

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The Enhanced Livelihoods in the Mandera Triangle (ELMT) Program was part of USAID’s broader Regional Enhanced Livelihoods in Pastoral Areas (RELPA) Program that aimed to support a more effective move from emergency-relief dependency to resilience and sustainable actions that promote long-term economic development in pastoral areas.

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"The Sahel has long been vulnerable to drought, impoverishment and food insecurity, as the droughts of the mid-1970s, 1980s and 2005 show.

Over the past 20 years, IIED has run a major programme of work in the Sahel that aims not only to demonstrate the fragility of human and environmental systems, but also to show the remarkable energy and innovation that local people can draw on to adapt and survive in an often hostile setting.

Beyond Any Drought makes clear people’s vulnerability stems from a combination of political, economic and social forces, as well as the impacts of highly variable rainfall.

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms the likelihood of higher temperatures for the region over the next few decades.

Current predictions of changes to rainfall in the Sahel are less certain, with forecasts ranging from a drop of 20% to a 20% rise. In either case, more heat will increase evaporation from soils, rivers and lakes, and reduce the value of whatever rain does fall.

For a region already suffering from poverty and drought, such predictions are unwelcome news. Finding ways to help strengthen resilience in human and environmental systems is thus key to helping people adapt to the challenges ahead."

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