Directorate / Drought / Drylands / East Africa / Food Security / ILRI / Kenya / Opinion piece / Pastoralism / Vulnerability

Are politicians making political hay – and pastoral havoc – out of diminishing dryland resources in northern Kenya?

NP Kenya 211011_5

Northern Kenya from the air (photo on Flickr by Neil Palmer [CIAT]).

‘The chairman of [Kenya’s] National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia, has singled out divisive politicians as the main cause of recent ethnic violence among some pastoral communities. He warned that stern action will be taken against such people.

‘Dr Kibunjia’s observation adds to a growing pile of evidence as to the causes of increasing violence among pastoral communities.

‘An analysis of climate reports by the Kenya Meteorological Department since the 1997–98 El Niño phenomenon have generally shown decreasing natural resources, especially in arid areas. . . .

A much more recent study by the International Livestock Research Institute has confirmed the hypothesis that the shrinking of grazing lands and increasing population are the main causes of recurrent hunger and conflict in the region.

In September, an international meeting was held in Nairobi over the hunger situation in Northern Kenya and the larger Horn of Africa region where these issues were discussed and a plan of action to mitigate future famines suggested.

Read the whole editorial in the Daily Nation newspaper (Kenya): Stop leaders inciting pastoral communities, 15 Jan 2012.

Read more about international meetings on the food crisis in the Horn of Africa held at ILRI’s Nairobi campus on 30 Aug and 1 Sep 2011, and about ILRI’s livestock-research-based recommendations for how to help livestock herders cope better with drought in Kenya and the greater Horn of Africa:

From the ILRI News Blog

Experts produce joint statement on long-term development needs of the drylands of the Horn, 13 Sep 2011.

‘Africa’s drylands are productive, and potentially very productive’–ILRI’s Bruce Scott, 5 Sep 2011.

CGIAR briefing on the food crisis in the Horn of Africa: 1 September at ILRI Nairobi, 30 Aug 2011.

Investments in pastoralism offer best hope for combating droughts in East Africa’s drylands–Study, 24 Aug 2011.

Ongoing drought in Horn may trigger first-ever insurance payments to remote African livestock herders, 16 Aug 2011.

What happens to pastoral children when the last goat dies: Ann’s story, 12 Aug 2011.

Best ways to manage responses to recurring drought in Kenya’s drylands, 7 Aug 2011.

From the ILRI Clippings Blog

Follow the tag: droughtinhorn2011

‘The food crisis in the Horn is essentially a livestock crisis’–Lloyd Le Page, CEO of the CGIAR, 2 Sep 2011.

‘It’s not drought, but vulnerability to drought, that’s eroding food security in the Horn’–USAID’s Jeff Hill, 2 Sep 2011.

East Africa can–and should–help livestock herders cope better with drought, 3 Sep 2011.

Problems in the Horn of Africa ‘ought not to be’–KARI’s David Mwangi, 4 Sep 2011.

Research for resilience: Helping the Horn’s food producers better absorb climate shocks, 4 Sep 2011.

Drought-tolerant crops and crop and livestock insurance can help farmers fight effects of drought in the Horn, 6 Sep 2011.

Horn of Africa drought: Short-term ‘Band-Aid’ thinking not enough–CGIAR, 8 Sep 2011.

CNN reports that drought in Horn is increasing conflicts between people and wildlife, 12 Sep 2011.

Prospects for greater agricultural investments in the Horn?, 4 Oct 2011.

Drought responses–New briefing paper on lessons still to learn, 24 Oct 2011.

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