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The Destiny of Pastoralism in Wajir County

Pastoral communities are accustomed to dealing with drought and erratic rainfall and have traditionally utilized systems and practices that minimized the impact of climate-related shocks to their livelihoods. Recently, however, the impacts of economic and political factors are combining with the changing climate to increase vulnerability for poor pastoral households. The situation is particularly serious for women, who face additional social, cultural and political constraints that restrict their access to critical resources such as land and animals.
As a result, some households have transitioned into an agro-pastoral way of life, combining traditional livestock rearing with crop production and other economic activities. While this shift represents an innovation for these communities, it is also driving the development of sparsely distributed permanent settlements on wet season potential pasture zones thereby exposing them to new risks and a different set of challenges in securing their livelihoods.In Wajir, the impacts of climate change are already being felt and communities are seeking ways to adapt to foreseen changes.
The adaptive capacity of pastoralists andagro-pastoralists is dynamic, affected by a range of social,environmental, economic and political variables, many of them beyond the control of the community. Analysis of vulnerability must go beyond exposure and sensitivity to climate impacts. It must explore the different dimensions of adaptive capacity and identify barriers that communities face in applying their existing capacity to respond to climate impacts for this will lead to the identification of adaptation options that reinforce and build upon existing adaptive capacity.Residents of Wajir County have been engaging in consultative meetings on how to sustain their livelihoods in the face of multiple, evolving challenges.
Climate change is among the most serious challenges, exacerbating existing problems, exposing people to new and evolving risks and creating further complexity in decision-making. In order for people to respond to the anticipated changes and to engage in adaptive decision-making, they require information, knowledge and skills that enable them to actively address climate risks.
Adaptation efforts must aim to facilitate access to information and capacity build communities while also working with institutions and policies to ensure an enabling environment for local adaptation efforts.Arid Lands Development Focus (ALDEF) under the Adaptation Consortium are supporting a process to create a landmark shift of mindsets toward resilience of pastoralism in the future. With support of the county government, ALDEF Kenay is on verge of tabling the County Climate Change Adaptation Fund Bill - CCCAF bill in the county parliament to trigger the journey of transforming from emergency to resilience, to realize informed decision-making on public investment (to be funded by CCCAF basket). ALDEF Kenya enable county government planners to undertake resilience assessment to understand the community needs in relation to climate change.
The resilience assessment methodology is designed to empower communities, men and women, to articulate the factors that with proper investment will build their resilience. Once the bill is passed, it will enable Wajir county harvest and harness the highly anticipated Global Green Climate Fund and other funds to neutralize climate change effects locally.Mohamed Turane

Governance Project Officer.