Adaptation Measures Adopted by Pastoralist Livestock Farmers in Kenya in Response to Climate Change

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Monica Yator


Livestock farming, climate change, adaptation, mitigation, pastoralist communities


Pastoralist communities in Kenya, such as the Maasai, Samburu, Turkana and Borana, predominantly inhabit the arid and semi-arid regions of the country. These communities have traditionally relied on livestock for their livelihoods, with cattle, goats, and sheep forming the backbone of their economic and cultural practices. However, in recent years, this adaptive animal production system has faced growing external threats due to issues such as climate change, political instability, agricultural expansion and rural banditry that have transformed the rangelands in which they operate. In response to climate change challenges, Kenyan pastoralist livestock farmers have devised and implemented a variety of adaptation measures. Hence, identifying effective adaptation measures can facilitate the replication and scaling of successful strategies across different regions and communities. The review entailed a systematic search of relevant scholarly articles published between 2013 and 2023 using search engines Scopus, Web of Science, World Health Organization, the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), the Scientific Electronic Library Online (ScIELO) as well as Google Scholar and structured Google. The findings indicated that diversifying livestock breeds to more resilient species, adopting rotational grazing practices to prevent pasture depletion, destocking, forming or joining cooperative societies slathering of weak animals and developing water conservation methods such as rainwater harvesting and construction of water pans are some of the adaptation measures adopted by pastrolist communities in Kenya. The study recommends that there need for government to increase support for the implementation and scaling-up of rotational grazing and feed conservation techniques as well as promote herd diversification by supporting the breeding and acquisition of drought-resistant livestock species, thereby reducing vulnerability to climatic shocks.

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