Abstract

Rangeland resources play a significant role in production activities and sustainability of livelihood among the pastoral communities. Factors that have adversely affected efficient utilization and have an ultimate impact on risk management include: conflicts, poor public service delivery, uneven resource utilization and limited asset diversification. This paper examines these factors in detail, and assesses their influence on household production. The objective of the study was to investigate the influence of household production on the ability of the pastoralists to manage risks. The findings and recommendations will be helpful to put in place strategies that will increase household production, minimize conflicts among the various resource users, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and serve as a step towards eradication of poverty. The study was carried out in Kirisia, Lorroki and Baragoi divisions of Samburu district. A survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire (248 households), together with personal interviews with key informants (30), and group discussions (7). Data analysis involved descriptive statistics and tests of relationships by use of correlation and regression analysis, using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). The results indicated that there was no significant relationship between household production and public service delivery, resource utilization, asset diversification and risk management. Household income and asset diversification was low (less than Kshs.20, 000 per year and 20% of investment levels), high illiteracy rate (80%), and thus increase in poverty. The pastoralists, therefore, had limited capacity to manage both environmental and human risks, hence their vulnerability to climatic stress. It is recommended that pastoral communities should diversify their production activities to reduce dependence on livestock, to alleviate poverty and enhance risk management.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1684-4173
Print ISSN
1027-1775
Pages
pp. 67-82
Launched on MUSE
2005-08-09
Open Access
No
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