CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGES AND ADAPTATION STRATEGIES AMONG THE PASTORALITS OF LAIKIPIA COUNTY KENYA
Pastoralism has been the main source of livelihood for over 120 million pastoralists in the world. However, pastoral production systems have been facing pressure due to climate change, which is driving many pastoralists to adopt technologies appropriate to the adverse agro-ecological conditions and embrace sustainable livelihood strategies that enhance food security. Pastoralists have over time relied on their own knowledge to cope and mitigate against effects of arid environment by adopting to livestock production practices which enhance resilience and productivity. With increased climate change challenges, pastoralists need more than indigenous knowledge which calls for Agricultural Extension practices to improve on mitigating options for improved livelihoods. The coping and mitigation strategies in Laikipia North Sub County have not been identified and documented, for other pastoralists to learn and adopt which was the purpose of this study. A Cross-Sectional Survey research design was used and an interview schedule was used to collect data from a sample of 120 pastoralists drawn from 1410 households selected through simple random sampling. Validity of the instrument was ascertained by a group of extension experts from Egerton University, while reliability was determined qualitatively through a pilot test in Laikipia West District. Data analysis was done using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). Findings indicated that pastoralists in Laikipia North Sub County experienced climate change related challenges which included drought, reduced amount of rainfall, livestock diseases and conflicts over resources. The recommendation was that change agents like extension workers and administrators needed to embrace various training methods to ensure pastoralists benefit from new and available technologies for sustainable food security. Policy makers and donors need to emphasize more on promoting the successful mitigating and coping options utilized by pastoralists, for faster development in the area.
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