Pastoralist Vulnerability to Climate Change: Implication on Approaches to Community Resilience Building in West Pokot County
Climate change is a global concern that requires urgent interventions to ensure that it does not jeopardizes community livelihoods, ecosystems and sustainable development. Africa is one of the continents severely affected by impacts of climate change due to inadequacy of resources and capacity problems. In Kenya, ASAL counties like West Pokot are among those adversely affected in adapting to climate extremes, where climate change is modifying the pastoral culture and livelihoods. Increased environmental degradation, deforestation, agricultural activities and other development project that exacerbated emissions toxic gases to the Atmosphere. The study examined vulnerability of pastoralist community to impacts of climate change in West Pokot County, Kenya. Respondents were selected through random, purposive and strata sampling methods, and data collected by the use of questionnaires administered to 384 respondents, key informant interview and focused group discussion. Quantitative data analyzed using SPSS version 25; the study was anchored on vulnerability model. The study found that climate change extremes had increased, impacting negatively on community water sources and pasture. West Pokot pastoralist are exposed to effects of Climate change, with (59.5%), indicating high and low (13.3%) and they are characterized with low adaptive capacity due to low level of education, and poverty. The finding also indicated that livestock body conditions during climate extreme event shows that 71.4% are in deteriorating condition and 1.8% in good condition with poor markets. The frequent drought attributed to climate change is a threat to pastoralist community livelihood and water systems. In order to mitigate livestock disease problem, the study found that 45% and 10% preferred disease surveillance as a strategy. Strengthening pastoralist capacity on climate change adaptation is of important in reducing pastoralist vulnerability to climate shocks, through enhancing adaptation measures that counter negative impacts of climate variability to pastoralist. The study contributes in recommending on various pastoralist adaptation strategies.
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