Full Length Research Paper
Living with drought: the case of the Maasai pastoralists of northern Kenya
Julius M. Huho1*, Josephine K. W. Ngaira1 and Harun O. Ogindo2
1Department of Geography, Maseno University, P.O. Box 333 Maseno - Kenya.
2Department of Botany and Horticulture, Maseno University, P.O. Box 333 Maseno - Kenya.
*Corresponding author E-mail: email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 18 December, 2010; Accepted 25 January, 2011
Pastoralism, which is the main source of livelihood to about 120 million pastoralists worldwide, is practiced in the drylands that are characterized by low rainfall and frequent droughts. In the semi arid and arid lands of Kenya (88% of the Kenya landmass), pastoralism accounts for 90% of the employment and 95% of the family incomes and livelihood security. It contributes to about 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and 50% of the agricultural GDP. However, frequent droughts have threatened this important sector which offers a viable production system in the vast drylands of the country. This paper highlights on the effects of droughts on pastoralism and the coping and adaptive strategies employed by the Maasai pastoralists of northern Kenya with special reference to Mukogodo Division of the semi arid Laikipia District.
Keywords: Pastoralism, drought, drought coping strategies, Mukogodo Division